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Date last modified

Does date last modified matter to search engines?

     
6:03 pm on Aug 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if this is the right forum to ask this, but I have heard that search engines like new content. I am currently working to generate dyynamic pages which include something like this in the header

<meta name="dateofLastModification" content="2005/08/16">

Now, if I do this programatically the date will be updated any time I make a change in the page, no matter how minor, even changing a couple of words in the title.

Would this have negative effects? If so, should the date only be changed if there is a significant change or addition to page content? If yes to that, what percent change to content would be considered "significant?" I want to continually update the pages but don't want to adversely affect rankings.