A client of ours just came back from the Traffic & Conversion Summit, 2015, in San Diego. By all accounts it was a fantastic conference. Lots of great speakers with real solutions to real problems. I wish I could have went but “business is business and business must grow”.  So I sat this year out and stayed in front of one of my many screens. And dammit – I missed out on the Epic Google Blog Traffic Hack of 2015.

Back to my client. This guy is digitally marketing savvy. As knowledgeable in conversion optimization as any digital marketer. But he has a successful brick and mortar business that he is growing. Meaning his attention is running his business, not learning how to technically test landing pages or optimize his website for an increase in search results. So he works with Kazooky to help him deliver the results he is looking for. This is probably a common refrain among progressive business owners.

Where he is a little uncertain are the technical details it takes to make the digital marketing magic happen. The hidden fields in the forms, the keyword density in his latest article and so on. So off to the Traffic & Conversion Summit in San Diego to see what new magic tricks he can uncover. Based on his feedback after his first day back, 1 or 2 of the techniques he brought back should bear enough fruit to make the trip San Diego worthwhile. Of course any excuse to get down to San Diego is worthwhile.

But during his trip, he came across a little black magic. Or more specifically, someone offering a bit of old school Google black hat SEO. This is 2015 and these are all supposedly experts in their craft. Surely he was mistaken at what he was being told. One of these experts told him a secret to getting more traffic to his blog pages. This was the Epic Google Blog Traffic Hack (EGBTH). Wow – in 2015 a secret to tricking Google to send traffic to his blog pages. This was clearly gold – and if this worked obviously this expert was taking over the Internet with his blog articles and posts.

What Is The Epic Google Blog Traffic Hack of 2015

Before I get into the specific details of the EGBTH, I want to focus on someone thinking they have someway of beating Google. If someone in 2015 had some way of gaming Google, well, a few things might happen:

  1. Given the traffic riches, that person would be inundated in revenue opportunity and wouldn’t be spending valuable time at a conference.
  2. He would be getting a phone call from Larry Page offering him a job.
  3. Failing the above, his trick would be outed and his websites would be penalized and that would be that.

To beat Google means to get ahead of a multi billion dollar corporation who employ hundreds of PHDs dedicated to ensuring the integrity of their search algorithm. Maybe I’m missing the point but we simply do the best we can within the framework that Google provides. It really is that simple and clear.

The Epic Google Blog Traffic Hack of 2015

“Remove the dates of your blog articles so Google can’t see them.”

The theory is that Google doesn’t like old content so it will penalize old articles by lower their ranks. And that is probably true. We all know that Google loves fresh content. So by removing the article dates, Google will never know what articles are new, so it will just assume they are all new. How come I didn’t think of that?

I have a cousin who used to literally jump in front of cars to earn money. But I digress – a story for another time…

So let’s consider the merits of the EGBTH – remove the dates on your articles so Google can’t see them. It’s hard to even get started on debunking this idea. But let’s start and finish with the most obvious – Google knows your content is fresh but not because of the dates you put on them. It indexes content on specific days and times and logs this. If Google can compare content from a site in China to a site from North Dakota and determine there is duplicate content, it probably knows the date and time you released an article.

There was a time, maybe in 1999, when Google took our word for the freshness and relevance of our articles. Ah, the good ol’ days of keyword stuffing and manipulating meta keyword tags. But in 2015? Counterfeiting money and trying to deposit it into your bank might work out better for you.

Today it is about just writing good content and the social signals created from having content that people want to share. The article structure and social signals are the key indicator – not an arbitrary date you create and Google just says “Duh – ok boss.”

The other side of this, and arguably the most important side, is usability. Your readers want to see a date. Back in the days when we read newspapers – how exciting was it to pick up a newspaper only to find out it was 3 days old? Did you rush to read the 3 day old articles?

How about watching the game you PVR’d… but you found the score before you watched it. How relevant is that game now?

Not having a date on your articles is akin to having dates that are 3 years old or worse. Without a point of reference, there is no relevance. Especially when we are talking about anything on the Internet. The Internet is about today – actually it is about now. If I can’t see a date I just keep searching until I find a similar article with a date so I can ensure relevance.

And you can narrow Google’s focus down to one word – “relevance”.

But give it a try and tell me I am wrong. I would love to tell the story of the great Epic Google Blog Traffic Hack of 2015.

And while you are at it, tell Google that your articles are fresh by not adding dates.

Duh – ok Boss.