In the context of a blog where you have the date of the Blog article Title, author and date. There can be another date used to show when the last update of the article is. Is there a consideration or more appropriate label

Last Modified vs Last Updated

Classically I have thought Last modified is semantically accurate but I don't know if there is a reason for this or might it be the wrong label.

  • They're effectively the same in most cases. "Modified" is usually used when referring to files or database records. "Updated" when referring to content (text, audio, video, etc). Flip a coin if you can't decide.
    – 習約塔
    Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


Think about how the users in your domain would say it, and what the domain default is. They'll be coming to your site with the model/familiarity of similar sites they've experienced.

Generally speaking, in content based (articles / news) websites, you'll see the term 'update'. In the content / news domain it implies adding to understanding based on new information.

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Modified often refers to an entity or record, and is more associated with technology, the act of manipulating objects. It does not necessarily always imply new, useful information, but a change in an objects properties or values.

Most of all, think of how your users would speak.

A thought on time

Which ever term you go with, you can use relative time, so users don't have to do as much mental math.

Depending on the frequency / importance of new information being added to the article, you choose the granularity that is easiest to understand.

  • 30 minutes ago
  • 6 hours ago
  • yesterday

You also might drop the the 'Last', and just say:

Updated: yesterday or Updated 6 hours ago


If you want an answer about "what is more appropriate for the user" — consider that what is most-relevant is the date and editorial process that ensures that the user can find your article at all.

Because of the economics of content publishing online, the only safe answer to this question is not based on UX, but based on the way that dates affect your SEO, and thus your traffic, and thus our revenue.

You can find many readings on this topic (SearchEngineLand, SERoundtable), and from peoples' attempts to decloak the magic of search engine rankings (SERPs).

Publishing a date on the page requires choices not only about which date you choose, but how to keep it updated based on editorial behavior (edits from writers). See this guidance from Google:

Best practices. Google then published six best practices you can follow to help Google with these issues.

(1) Show when a page has been updated.

(2) Use the right time zone

(3) Be consistent in usage

(4) Don’t use future dates or dates related to what a page is about

(5) Follow Google’s structured data guidelines

(6) Troubleshoot by minimizing other dates on the page

Similarly, if you're publishing "news", there are additional guidelines.

  • Consider updating the answer so that it is more relevant to the question asked.
    – Michael Lai
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 22:51

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