Outdated Footer Copyright Year And SEO
Yes, to a certain degree outdated footer copyrights can at times be bad for SEO. Always remembering you don’t really have to display a copyright. Content, logos, images, etc, you upload are already considered “copyrighted.”
That said and done outdated copyrights stand an extremely small chance of affecting Google’s perception of a website. They could however affect your site if Google cant find other signals of freshness aside from the arbitrary copyright date (which I explain at the bottom of the article)
Outdated copyrights usually work against the website more from a user standpoint.
Websites that don’t reflects accurate and current information can result in a bad level of trust for those that visit the website (If they can’t bother to update the copyright date on there website, then how would they treat me as a customer?)
Reality is – Outdated copyright years make your site look outdated, disinterested, out of touch and DAMN lazy, to say the least.
Correct copyright years subconsciously raises visitor expectations that your site is on top of the latest developments in your niche and shows you are on top of the ball, up to date, interested in your website and in touch with the world.
Copyright Updates And The Google Freshness Algorithm
Did you know that freshness is now part of the core algorithm and part of the Panda algorithm?
And what is known – the Panda Algorithm checks for abandoned pages/sites, and sites that are not maintained as well as old or outdated mistaken facts.
Google now credit websites for freshness and have numerous methods of detecting it. Websites that are outdated and not maintained now stand a chance of slipping in rankings, while websites that are frequently updated will increase in rankings.
Lets take a closer look at freshness from Googles prospective.
Google usually find other signals of freshness aside from the arbitrary copyright date. But what if they cant? Domain renewal is not a signal of freshness and nether is your site appearing in the search results.
Footer Copyright SEO FAQs
Absa Bank Three Different copyright years 2011-2015!
Now lets use Absa Bank as our example (I love using branded names as examples, specifically those that are stinking rich!) Absa Bank have Three different copyright dates. The 2011 copyright was when they last updated there platform and the 2015 copyright date was when they introduced SureCheck Dual Authentication Security.
And how did we do it? Freshness! We updated the Absa SureCheck article on a regular basis (Google LOVE freshness and so do Absa Bank clients. I should have become an Absa Bank Branch Manager or perhaps even a password phisher!)
And the third copyright (2010) which I explain below is on an old login page that no longer works.
Will Absa Bank slip in rankings due to two different outdated copyright years?
Absa in general go out there way to warn members of the public with regards to scam and phishing. But in the interim, Absa are sending mixed signals to members of the public with regards to security.
The outdated copyrights could even confuse members of the public into thinking they are on an old outdated page that is no longer secure.
Do outdated copyrights result in bad user trust?
They most defiantly do. I for one wont use a site that’s copyright was last updated years ago. The only reason I use Absa is I know they for real and they do exist (In a slow lazy fashion) and I’ve banked with them for over 30 years.
Absa Outdated Login Form, Still Live!
Absa Banks old login page with a 2010 copyright (https://ib.absa.co.za/ib/ib.jsp) is still live and does not redirect users to the new working login page.
Prior to Surecheck Duel Authentication Mechanism switch-over, the above URL was my Absa Bank bookmark, which no longer works but is still live and does not redirect to an authentic working login page.
Google even have the old redundant login page indexed at number one even though it is blocked via the robots.txt file!
After entering my bank number and password into the above URL I am redirected to – https://ib.absa.co.za/cmcs/static/ibsunset_redirect.html
Cant believe they first waste my time by filling in my bank details then redirect me to a page that tells me the login page no longer works! But nonetheless. below is the correct Absa Login page
So what is the moral of your article?
The moral of my story is – rather don’t use a copyright than display an outdated copyright year. It makes your site look unprofessional, redundant and makes your staff look lazy and disinterested.
You don’t need a copyright year to copyright your content, its already considered “copyrighted.”
And if you have outdated pages don’t waste the users time, specifically by filling in forms, rather redirect them to a relevant page before they fill-in the form. Its called BAD user experience.