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I have a page with several trip packages for the region. Some packages have different dates available.

E.g.

Trip package #1
Date: May 17—23
Price: $150 

---

Trip package #2
Date: August 1—15
Price: $150 

---

Trip package #3
Date: November 1—15
Price: $150 

I need to optimize the page for SEO, so how should I show the packages? Logically it would be best to order by date. So when the date passes, package moves at the end of the list for the next year. E.g. in July the order will be:

#2, #3, #1

Is moving packages OK?

But this will require moving packages back-and-forth and as far as I know it's not very good for SEO. Which options do I have there? Or are there no options really and I should just have one order in place and stick with it?

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    "as far as I know it's not very good for SEO" -- where did you get that? It is fine to change your site in ways that are appropriate for users. News sites change their home page every day. – Stephen Ostermiller Apr 12 '18 at 10:39
  • @StephenOstermiller as always, read somewhere. My current understanding, although it may be wrong, is that Google may shift page position after re-crawl if content is changing, but unchanged page is more... stable in the results. As for news sites it makes sense, but I believe they don't rely on category pages on SEO, as far as I rely heavily and it's more important than individual trip page. – Runnick Apr 12 '18 at 10:44
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    I'd recommend creating a separate page for each trip so that users can bookmark their trip and so that people searching for a specific trip have a clear landing page. If you do that, you don't have to have quite so much info on your page about all the trips. Just basic info about each and a link to the full page. – Stephen Ostermiller Apr 12 '18 at 15:59
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    I second what @StephenOstermiller says. The order makes little to no difference as far as how search engines index the page. If you simply reorder what has existed before, the metrics within the index will be the same, just in a different order. The overall value is exactly the same. – closetnoc Apr 12 '18 at 16:01
  • Consider that pages do change position in the SERPs when they are changed according to how they score. Duh! Right? But if all you do is reorder what is there, the value of the content has not really changed has it? It is not like you added or deleted content. Simply reordering the content will score relatively the same and therefore make little to no difference. – closetnoc Apr 12 '18 at 16:07
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Google acts differently for certain types of searches. For some it sees people tend to click through and stay longer on established/older pages, so for those it rewards older content. But for some searches it sees people tend to click through and stay longer on up-to-date content, and particularly for data that needs to be up-to-date like events or trips, it rewards refreshed content. (See Moz for more details).

Another reason to go ahead and move the past dates lower is as you expressed: it's a better user experience for visitors to see current trips and not past ones. Google has UX built into its algorithms; one way for them to monitor this is time on site. They can see their own Google Analytics if you have it installed, and even if not, they can see the timestamp when a visitor clicked over to your site and the timestamp that they went back to Google to look for another site, and therefore how long they spent on your site.

Also, in this case I think you would find more SEO benefit from adding Schema markup to your trips than you would from adhering to strict guidelines on the order your content is shown in. Finally, I'd suggest coding your site to automatically move past trips to the bottom so the order stays consistent.

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I think it's best to organize your pages in such a way that is best for the user. If you want to rank for specific keywords, then it's also wise to structure your page in a way that is best for organic search traffic that lands on that page.

If a user coming from Google search is more likely to want products that new and current as opposed to old, outdated and obsolete, then it's best to list the products from new to old.

I understand your concern that you're worried about mixing up your content too frequently and then Google won't know what will be on your page when it sends users to it. But overall, I think it's better just to make the best page that you possibly can for users landing on your site. This is likely to lead to better rewards.

On top of that, I have read from some reputable sources that Google actually rewards pages for updating their content frequently, at least with minor changes. So I wouldn't expect to get penalized for having a dynamic page that refreshes results tailored to search traffic instead of having a static page that is outdated.

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