If anyone has been paying attention, a really annoying Google bug came and went this week, where the date of your Hub was replaced by the date of an embedded YouTube video in the search results. This means if you updated your Hub last week but had a video from 2014 it would look to searchers like your Hub hadn't been touched since 2014.
Personally, I saw a significant loss of traffic which seemed to correlate with this bug. Of course, correlation does not imply causation and there were certainly other factors such as the election and a possible Google update. However, as my Hubs are getting crawled and the correct date is reappearing, traffic is inching back, so this bug does appear significant.
Why would so much traffic go away just because of a date? Two reasons:
1. Depending on the topic, Google may see older articles as outdated and less relevant, and therefore demote them in the search results. Some people reported this and I saw it myself in at least one of my Hubs.
2. Again depending on topic, searchers are less likely to click through on results that look old and out of date.
So the take home is this: Bug or not, is is important to keep your Hubs fresh and updated so both search engines and human-type readers find them appealing. The reason to update a Hub is to add or change content so the Hub remains relevant -- I'm not suggesting you make small changes just to get a new date. But do go back and look at old Hubs from time to time, freshen them up and keep them relevant.
Otherwise, if you've left a Hub sitting there since 2014 without even looking at it, you're basically penalizing yourself, and that Hub isn't getting as much traffic as it probably could.
Yep, I generally go on an updating frenzy January of each year. 2017 looks so much better than 2016, etc.
I keep a spreadsheet with my Hubs listed from last updated to most recent so I can regularly work through them, but I admit I've gotten lazy on this over the past few months. This bug has me a bit reinvigorated.
The system does this for you:
Click on the word Changed and it sorts them into date order
Yes I know. :-)
But I have three accounts with a bunch of Hubs each so I export them all to one spreadsheet. Then I can have a better idea of the overall picture and what needs attention.
I can also track things like which Hubs have been moved to which niche site, traffic fluctuations over time and overall traffic.
Thanks for the tip. I have an embarrassing number of hubs that need a spritz of air freshener.
I have had the same problem with one of my hub. My other five hubs are according to their proper dates. We need to report this problem to the HubPages team.
Yes! Updating things regularly is super important, especially for certain types of content.
The fresh dates drive CTR and I'd agree with a previous comment, that they influence rankings over time.
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