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In that a client feels having an old copyright date displayed in the footer across a site will have a negative SEO impact? My opinion is that it should make very little difference SEO wise and should only change if a substantial change has taken place with regard to the design of the site.

I have done some Googling but have not come across anything "concrete" any pointers or if you have had experience changing from a static to a dynamically change year and the effect it had that would be great.

4 Answers 4

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It doesn't have any SEO impact, but for human beings looking at your site it might seem like it hasn't been updated for a while (unless there's other stuff like dated news items/blog posts on the front page). That's going to make them wonder if what they read is up to date.

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  • Totally agree. Its hidden right down in the footer so for most user cases will make no difference i think. thanks for you help. Jul 27, 2011 at 13:59
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It makes no difference for SEO. I've had my hand in over 150 websites and none of them have seen negative or positive SEO effects of having an old or new copyright. The date of the copyright has nothing to do with the relevancy of the page content.

This is a classic example of clients putting their noses someplace it doesn't belong.

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  • What i thought but its good to get a second opinion. Thanks for your help. Jul 27, 2011 at 13:58
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For SEO, no impact. But from a quality aspect, there is no reason not to use programming to automatically output the current year.

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A clarification worth mentioning in regards to the currently accepted answer is that the age of a page does matter, but search engines do not automatically use the written copyright date to influence how old it thinks the page is.

Search engines crawl pages on a regular basis looking for changes; so, if a page has a copyright date of 2010, but was last modified a week ago, they can tell that the content is more up-to-date than a website with a copyright date of 2021 that has in fact not been updated since 2021.

That said, publication dates can be passed to Google in such a way that can influence search results. While not really necessary on all kinds of websites, if you run a site where it is important to prioritize your newest posts or make your content searchable by date, then you should include both a visual publication date on your page and specify it in your page's structured data, and as long as you did not mark a future date, Google will take this date into account when prioritizing its relevance.

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/appearance/publication-dates

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