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Thread: Just a small tip, but could be important

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    May 2011
    Bavarian Forest

    Thumbs up Just a small tip, but could be important

    One often overlooked item on a web page is the copyright year. I know I think twice about visiting a site with the copyright stuck at 2004. This is part of all SEO work, Get ready for 2012 and cahange them. At the same time you should update all your website sitemaps as well. Google and Bing will love you.

    Best of luck in 2012

    Last edited by rah; 12-28-2011 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Remove link to own website

  2. #2
    A copyright from 2004 could also be viewed as sign that the content producer or site has been online for a long time (in Internet years), so I would argue that it could be beneficial to have content that is from that far back. But, I would agree in regards to someone looking for more recent content, seeing a date from 2004 might be a turn-off.

  3. #3
    Administrator LD's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Interesting point @SEO. I was always of the thought that an old copyright date was a sign of either a stagnant site or the owner has not bothered to update the actual copyright date. Having said that, I still lean toward a current date as a sign of a site with current or at least updated content.
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  4. #4
    Administrator weegillis's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    A current date (year) on the pages that change would be sensible, but changing the date on a 2004 page that hasn't changed makes no sense at all, and would be, a) misleading, and b) a waste of time.

    Copyright does not indicate how current or recent the content on a site is, but the actual creation date of the content in the particular page.

    Copyright date is not SEO, and search engines don't need it, or care about it. They have the HTTP header 'lastModified' date to work with.

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  6. #5
    Moderator SteveGerencser's Avatar
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    This is why we tend to do copyrights like this - copyright 1997 - 2012
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  8. #6
    Junior Member ESM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveGerencser View Post
    This is why we tend to do copyrights like this - copyright 1997 - 2012
    I agree with the form of; 1997 – “current year”.

    If a visitor still had a deeper question about the site a simple ‘Whois’ would tell all the current facts and history of the sites registration. As for SEO, I’m not sure it is a factor for the spiders as to legality but a Google search pulls up 329M hits for copyright 1997 – 2012!

    Petrafin’s tip is a good idea for all webmasters, as some of the basic website items are overlooked while we tweak sites and add new content while worrying about PR and sales. We should all look at: Disclosure Policy, Privacy, and any Terms and Conditions that might be relevant to the site and might have changed. These navigation listings do affect proper SEO and are looked at by customers, visitors and federal regulators agencies.

    Website visitors are becoming well versed in the proper display of information for websites particularly if they do sale transactions. This annual or quarterly tip of site housecleaning should be added to Petrafin’s tip and it is important. An ‘About’ page that says Hi, Welcome to my site but little or nothing else can be a turnoff for a savvy site visitor or customer.


  9. #7
    I'd agree that old copyright dates may look bad. But I'm sure that they're way down the priority list unless freshness is core to your business.
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  10. #8
    Administrator weegillis's Avatar
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    I would have to agree with SteveGerencser purely on the basis of most web documents being aggregates of all manner of content with widely varying creation dates. For this reason, it does make good sense to display a copyright declaration that covers all content from oldest to newest.

    While it might seem trivial, there are several copyrightable components in even a simple web document, ranging from the textual matter and visual imagery of the main content to skin design to scripting and UI. In the strictest sense, each of these components (or sub-components) only actually has a single copyright year.

    A script added to a 2004 document in 2011 would be copyright 2011, not 2004 - 2011, but its copyright declaration would generally appear in the source code. The document, being a newer version containing part or all of the 2004 creation would rightly declare that 'all copyrights' (implied) fall somewhere between the years 2004 and 2011.

    It is misleading for a site that while created in 1997 contains none of its original format or content to still declare a 1997 copyright year. Likewise, it is misleading for a document with old content to turn around and declare new copyrights to exist within, when in fact nothing is newer than the original creation date. The original copyright is in force. We certainly don't need to stretch it--it outlives the creator.

    Most users are not savvy enough to grasp the scope and range of copyrights in a web document. While we may think we're informing them of something OTHER THAN the date of creation or revision to the web document, I'd venture we're not.

    The point I'm making is that declaring a falsehood for the sake of credibility or some (possibly mythical) marginal gain in serp placement is still a lie. The declaration should read true and correct.

    On the whole, copyright declaration is practically moot if there is even the slightest understanding on the part of the reader. Technically, its absence does not automatically signal that the document (that is any component part) has fallen into the public domain and is free to use. The same copyrights still apply, declared or not. They always belong to the creator or owner employing the creator.

    By this reasoning, as I said above, it makes no sense to change the copyright year on old static content. Leave it. That is all the document requires--it's been around long enough to have historical value, even while it might be out of date. We could add, if it was BS in its creation year, it's still BS today. The copyright year (old or new) will add credibility when we can make a silk purse from a sow's ear or pigs fly, which ever comes first.

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  12. #9
    Member commodityman's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Copy writing has nothing to do with SEO, as per from the origin OP, but staying up to date with your site does give visitors an indicator that your company is on top of things; although it comes down to BS, but there are those that want to look at every single angle and give themselves a reason to "feel good", i.e. my copy is up to date. Here is better idea? Does the site have phone number to call? Does someone pick up the phone? Do you get an answering machine that sounds like they are in the basement? Or is it professional? Those are the "on the front" questions I would do, even if the @2004 is at the bottom of the site.
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  14. #10
    Administrator weegillis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by commodityman View Post
    Copy writing has nothing to do with SEO, ...
    There is a very big difference between 'copyright' and 'copy writing' and there is no such thing as 'copyrighting' since it is a noun, not a verb. This just adds to the drivel the member has already been spreading about this forum. How is anybody supposed to believe what the member says when it's pure conjecture, and significantly off topic?
    Last edited by weegillis; 12-30-2011 at 01:14 PM. Reason: quote

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