The myth of evergreen content


Can content be evergreen? This blog post examines why digital content cannot remain static.

 

Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi recently sparked a fierce debate after admitting that he now often refuses to read blog posts that have no date stamp.

But why? Digital marketer and Atomik Soapbox blogger Jonathan Crossfield decided to explore the matter in a blog post for the CMI titled “Should You Date-Stamp Your Blog Content?

For Crossfield a blog is a piece of digital content, it’s not “a fossilized record of some other time, unable to grow and evolve.”

My view: there is no “evergreen content”

When I’m researching around a topic, dates are one of the few aspects of a piece of content I can use to help me assess its usefulness. Dates provide context: they ensure I pass on still-relevant information that helps Radix produce relevant and engaging copy that’s up-to-date.

The smartphone statistics/SEO best practice/top social media platforms/most popular operating systems by usage figures (and so on) are not the same today as they were five years ago. They’re not even the same as they were two years ago.

Information on how to do long distance podcasting from nine months ago could be out of date today. For example, in November I had to update my SlideShare on Getting Started with B2B Podcasting after Microsoft moved to change the way in which Skype worked on desktop computers.

Staying up-to-date

Apart from definitely including the original date a blog post went live, here’s what else you can do to ensure that your audience knows that your content is still relevant to them:

  • Carry out an audit of all your content and see if any of it needs updating
  • When updating, add a revision date to your content e.g. Posted 06/01/13 | Revised 10/02/14 (Ed. I’m back, here in 2017, still checking this post is up-to-date)
  • Check that embedded external content or linked to content is still available, replace as needed

And if the topic of a blog post has drastically changed – consider writing a new post and link to it at the top of the original blog post.

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