I do updates on our UK Charity's website ~ Our "Latest News" Posts show the wrong tense for events that are now past. I want to update the tense in those articles butI I'm told (by Ms B) this is not 'accepted practice'. She says that from her long experience in maintaining websites for a well-known News Magazine that you NEVER update a Press Release or News Post. I'm sure she's right - for News Magazines; but not for a Charity website. I don't believe that our readers want to click on a link to an event to find that it is long-gone. I also believe that once an event is over, the tense in the report on that event should reflect the history.
I'd really welcome some informed opinion on this, please.


3 Answers 3


Once an event is over, you should (ideally) always have a NEW article about the event, describing how it went, and what it has led to. This will push the old article down the page (assuming your web site is set up properly). Then you should do as Dale Emery suggests: add a link to the new article at the top of the old article. But also add a "disclaimer" to the top of the old article, pointing out that it is old news. Otherwise, keep the old article the same, as your co-worker said.

It would also help if your news page had a clear division between "new news" and "old news".

  • 2
    (I don't see how an old article about an upcoming event can possibly qualify as a "report" on an event that had not occurred yet. Changing the tenses won't fix that.)
    – dmm
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 21:44

Note: This is from my perspective as a consumer.

I think it's okay to leave the present/future tense, especially if the date of the article is clearly visible. Most of the time I don't mind (much) finding an old, somewhat outdated article as long as the date is obvious.

Google searches (and perhaps others) allow users to specify a timeframe for their searches. When I know I don't want outdated articles, I can use that to limit the age of the search results.

One problem with changing existing articles: It affects the apparent validity of anyone who quoted the original.

One solution I've seen used well: Update the original article only to add a link to a more recent article, which describes the event after it occurs. It can be helpful if this link appears early in the original article, in or near the byline. Inclusion in a "related articles" list also works, though those often appear at the end of the article, and may not be readily visible if the text is longer than one screen.


EDITED TO ANSWER Original post asking permission from admins to link is below

Updating (Blog) Posts An Answer From Another Forum

I wrote an answer to a similar query in another forum here on StackExchange and you can read it at Updating a Company Blog. And what follows are the main takeaways from that.

If Google Does It, You Should Too

Basically, while searching for a reference for my answer, I went to Google's Webmaster Guidelines and found an Update notice of their own. Now, I'm a pretty smart fella, so I reckon that if they do it that way it's probably a safe bet.

SEO Tips - How Not to Blow Your Search Ranking

1. DO NOT change your URL/Permalink! And if you do, BE SURE to use a 301 Redirect to avoid a 404-Page Not Found Error.

2. Use HTML to Scroll to Link on Same Page: This seems like the most efficient way to show an update by Noting the changes separately at the top as Google did, and link to the section that you updated down in the actual content.

3. Be Proactive in Your Keyword Use: Ensure that _DO NOT_ cannibalize your SEO for the page by losing your focus Keyword. If anything. you should add to the strength of the page SEO by tying in semantic keywords and synonyms of your focus keyword.

Let me know if this works for you, please.


This is a similar question to what I just answered in another Stack. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to link to it?

If an Admin says it's ok, I'll post the link which includes Google's answer to the question.

best of luck

  • Welcome to Writing.SE! Yes, there's no reason why you shouldn't link to another answer, whether here or an another SE. However, a link alone doesn't constitute an answer - it works as a comment. If you want it to be a full answer, you'd have to give at least the main points of the answer here. An answer on SE is expected to be self-contained, not requiring a reader to follow additional links. For more information, see How to Answer. Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 18:31

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