Hello AEM Authors!
We’ve neglected this email series a bit, so we are going to try and dust it off and get it going again. The new plan is to send an email with authoring tips and updates once a month. Here are September’s tips and updates:
In this edition:
- SEO Quick Win: Fixing Broken Links
- AEM Authoring Tip: New Guidance on Article Dates
- SEO Tip: Context on Article Dates
- System Notice: AEM Authoring Freeze Oct. 7
SEO Quick Win: Fixing Broken Links
Want to improve your pages but don't have a lot of time? Fixing broken links on your pages takes just a few minutes to an hour and results in a better user experience and better technical health of your pages. You should be getting a weekly report from Monsido with the number of broken links on your pages - if you aren't, reach out to Lindsay and Margaret via the Marketing Request Portal to get set up! Once you log into Monsido you'll see which pages have broken links so you can quickly and easily fix them.
AEM Authoring Tip: Article Dates Required
Guidance on updating article dates in AEM has changed. It turns out that changing the article date on a page has negative impacts on analytics, so we are asking authors not to change dates anymore. Instead, add a note at the top of the body text in italics that says when the page was last updated. This page has an example of that treatment. Global digital will be working on automating some of this in the future so that the last updated date can be displayed and the original publication date on a page remains the same for analytics but is hidden.
SEO Tip: Context on Article Dates
Confused about dates on articles, how they impact freshness or evergreen, or if your articles will be considered stale if you have an older date? Since dates are now required on articles, we want to clear up any confusion. Fortunately, for a date to make a difference in one direction or the other in natural search, it really depends on what you're writing!
- Does the date really matter? If the date really matters for your content, to the point where a searcher needs to have information from a specific period in time, the date will be a great help for those looking for the freshest content (Google thinks so, too, and can give fresh, dated articles a little boost). A good example is something policy related, which is specific to a year or even month, or when there's a major event, such as a specific forest fire or a major drought. Dates on articles like these help people know they're getting current information.
- However, most of our topics are some level of evergreen - not specific to a point in time and need minimal updating to remain current and fresh. The date on these articles is not going to scare people away because freshness isn't that important. Google does not penalize older articles - in fact, older articles on evergreen topics show authority.
- Shouldn't I create new pages when I have new information? Not necessarily. If you have an existing page on that topic but it's outdated, it's best to update it with new information. An older page that's updated with fresh information will rank better and faster than a new page with fresh information. Plus, usually at least some of that older information is still relevant, so it will take less time and effort to update a page compared to writing a new one from scratch. And if you have an older page and think it's too outdated to save, why is it still published? Remove pages that serve no purpose (just don't forget to request a redirect). If the information you need to share is totally new - there's no existing page that comes even a little close to what you'll be sharing - absolutely create that new page (after getting approval from your publishers if required). (Source)
System Notice: AEM Authoring Freeze Oct. 7, 2020
As Adobe releases new versions of the Adobe Experience Manager system, we will periodically upgrade our instance to ensure that we are using the best products fully supported by Adobe. We are currently in the process of upgrading from AEM 6.4 to AEM 6.5. The authoring-side changes in the upgraded system are very minimal. How authors will be affected by the upgrade: there will be a part-day freeze on AEM content planned for October 7th, 2020. On that date, we will be replicating our live AEM content and moving it to an AEM 6.5 instance. During that move, any new edits or new content added to our current AEM instance will be lost when we go live with AEM 6.5 later in the day. We will provide more details about the upgrade and a better estimate of the freeze window as we approach the upgrade date.
If you have any questions, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!