How do Search Engines and Timestamps relate? It’s time to dig deeper into the true potential and power of a simple timestamp. Let’s explore how timestamps and search engines can work together!
The Web Is Defined By Search
In 2016, over 70% of what we spent online started with a question in a search engine query. Ranking high in the search results matters, but search engines don’t expose their algorithms telling you how to become the first result. What we do know, is that search engines parse structured data via the Schema.org protocol. Google, for example, highly recommends websites to use this as much as possible.
Help Search Engines To Read Your Site via Structured Data
With structured data, I can tell Google that Sebastiaan is not just a word, but it’s my first name, and I can tell Google that WordProof is not just a word, but also the company I work at. Google creates information cards in the search results using this structured data. Around 50% of all searches does not result in a click to an external website, and this number is likely to increase in the coming years.
If you output your content with detailed structured data, you increase your chance of ending up higher and better (with the rich cards) in the search results. So, structured data matters!
Outputting Timestamps to Structured Data
As you’ve learned, WordProof Timestamps can be viewed via the Timestamp Certificate. Via this certificate the consumer, your buyer or reader, can verify your content, nothing new there. But here’s the catch: WordProof outputs your blockchain timestamps as structured data, in Schema.org markup. With this standardized timestamp presented via Schema.org, both search engines and social media platforms can verify the integrity of your content.
Why is that important? And what are the benefits?
Problems in Search Engines
Although search engines are incredibly smart, even Google has its limitations and issues they haven’t been able to solve yet:
- Changing the date – The simplest form of search engine ‘fraud’ is just changing the publication date of the content. In many cases, this temporarily bumps you higher in the search results. With a blockchain timestamp offered via structured data, search engines can verify that you didn’t tamper with the dates of your content.
- Duplicate Content – Think of the following situation: a small site publishes high-quality content. Soon after, a bigger and better-ranking site re-publishes the content, getting it indexed earlier than the small site. Google might now (wrongly) considers the small website a copycat. With blockchain timestamps, original publishers can prove that they were first, which can be verified by search engines. This levels the playing field; with timestamps in place, being a small publisher or small webshop matters again!
To summarize: A timestamped article is more trustworthy than a non-timestamped article. Never before did a trustless and fully open source solution exist to prove existence and integrity. With your Timestamps outputted to Schema.org, you are ready for next-generation SEO.
WordProof and it’s partners work full-time on advocacy to make timestamps part of Schema.org. But remember these two things:
- It’s not necessary to have Schema.org truly accept WordProof’s timestamp to have an impact.
- Once search engines and social media officially take timestamps in account, it will matter that you started timestamping early. The timestamps I created a year ago are verifiable by human and search engines until infinity. So timestamping today, earlier than your competitor, matters!