Free and reliable time-stamping of your content with WordProof

Since version 19.2, the Yoast SEO plugin incorporates integration with the WordProof service, which allows you to add timestamps automatically to your content.

It is something that was already tried a few months ago but failed at that time, but now it is available and works correctly.

Why do I need a timestamp on my content?

Well, even if you’ve never thought about it, trustworthy time stamps on your content have great value, and will have even more in the near future.

Reactions such as the European Union’s privacy laws to the growing threat of fake news are just the tip of the iceberg that our data is increasingly being used as a bargaining chip by some companies.

In addition, this rising tide of malicious misinformation is leading to an increasing loss of credibility in all types of content.

One method proposed to try to identify content in time and attribution is to store the basic information of each content (authorship, date of publication, updates, changes, etc.) in the blockchain, and thus generate a kind of seal of validity of the content, verifiable at any time through its digital footprint.

This is the main motivation, from which some of the advantages of timestamps such as WordProof derive:

  • Protection of authorship rights, as the content is associated with the creator.
  • More transparency, increasing the trust and authenticity of the content.
  • Possible SEO benefits if the main search engines finally apply authorship algorithms, as Google proved years ago.
  • Proof of the existence of content at different points in time, recording changes, reviewable by users.
  • Be prepared for current EU regulations such as GDPR and future ones to come.

Who is WordProof and what does it do?

WordProof is a product of the Trusted Web Foundation, whose goal is to make Internet content more trustworthy and transparent to users.

What the WordProof tool does is add a timestamp to your content that creates a unique and universal digital fingerprint (the hash) for all your entries, pages and media files where you choose to add the timestamp. If the entry changes, the hash becomes totally different.

This hash is added to the blockchain with a date and time stamp. This way, as the author of the content, you can prove that you had published the content at that moment in time, as well as its possible subsequent modifications.

Why does Yoast incorporate integration with WordProof? What does this have to do with SEO?

With the growing lack of trust in news and media of all kinds, it won’t take long for search engines to offer their users some way to check the authorship, veracity and changes of content in search results.

When a user knows who has written the content and can check the date of publication, and if it has had modifications that may have altered its content, he/she will increase the confidence in the media and the author, ending up increasing the authority of that content and the media that hosts it, visiting it more, linking to it more as a reliable media, spending more time reading it, etc.

In other words, improving content positioning algorithms, even in a natural way according to current parameters, without the need for changes in the programming of search engines.

If, in addition, the main search engines such as Google or Bing end up applying some mark of authorship and reliability to their results, we will all win, regaining confidence in the content shown to us by search engines and news aggregators.

In fact, the Trust Web Foundation is working to incorporate new values that reflect authorship and timestamps registered through WordProof, something that will benefit us all, no doubt.

How do I activate WordProof on my WordPress website?

As what encouraged me to write this guide was the recent integration of WordProof in Yoast SEO, I will start by explaining how to do it with this plugin.

How to enable WordProof with Yoast SEO

To start, you must have Yoast SEO version 19.2 or higher, so if you don’t, the first step would be to update to this version if you haven’t already done so.

Once updated go to Yoast general settings, specifically to the “Integrations” tab and check if you already have the integration with WordProof active, and if not activate it and save the changes.

Once activated you can apply timestamps to your content, and one of your pages that will take advantage of this functionality is the privacy policy, and if you have an online store the terms and conditions, so that your users always have the confidence that they are reading the latest version of it, as well as being able to check its reliability and changes over time.

So open the page you want to add the timestamp to edit and you will find a new checkbox in the advanced settings section of Yoast SEO, from which to activate the timestamp.

However, when activating the timestamp you will be asked to register (free of charge) with the WordProof service, and authorize the integration.

Once this is done, you will be authorized to activate the WordProof timestamps in the contents you choose through this checkbox. Of course, if you have already registered in WordProof you can access and use the same user for as many websites as you want.

When you update the page, an icon will be displayed at the bottom of the page where the user, when clicking, will see a pop-up window indicating the actual date and time of the last modification of the content.

And you can also compare the different versions of the page by clicking on the compare versions button, which will show you in the same window the possibility of choosing between versions of different dates or times, and display your changes in a simple way, as if it were a collaborative document.

Not only that, but from the pop-up menu from the 3 dots on the top right you can see the hash generated on the blockchain.

So it all works fast, simple and right out of the box, without you having to learn anything about blockchain, privacy, GDPR or anything else. WordProof simply initiates the logging of all activity on the pages you activate it on to provide these timestamps.

How to activate WordProof WITHOUT Yoast SEO

If you don’t use the Yoast SEO plugin you can also use WordProof timestamps on your WordPress site, because you have an official plugin that does the same thing, exactly the same thing.

First install the plugin like any other…

Once active you have to activate the service, with a current or a new user, and you will be able to start using WordProof.

And it is used just like Yoast SEO, but in its own editor box.

WordProof settings

No matter if you use the official WordProof or Yoast plugin, in the activation box of the timestamp you will find a link to your WordProof account, where you can change some settings.

From this page you can.

  • Activate automatically timestamp of posts/pages – I do not recommend it initially, because WordProof is a paid service after a certain amount of pages and timestamps, so do not activate it for the time being in order not to decontrol the free account.
  • Show content revisions to my visitors – Of course active, otherwise why do you want WordProof?
  • Certificate link text – If you want to show next to the certificate icon a text explaining what it is you can add and customize it here. Strongly recommended.
  • Do not show the link to the certificate under the content – Disabled. Proudly display your certificate.

Is WordProof really free?

Yes, WordProof is free, or at least it has a free account, which is the one you activate by default with the Yoast SEO integration, or on your own from the WorfProof website.

Now, the free account has certain limitations, and if you exceed them you will have to upgrade to a paid plan.

The limits of the free account are as follows:

  • 1 website per account
  • Up to 10 pages or timestamps per month

So it’s a type of account that may be sufficient for sites where you only want to protect one or two pages, where you don’t make many changes per month, such as privacy and terms and conditions pages, which will work for most WordPress website owners or online stores.

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