Ok, I see. I really should have used the Action of "Duplicate" (not Backup), along with the Compare by Content, to achieve my desired goal of finding any files that were different regardless of the date on the files. Any differences found with Duplicate would be pushed from the source to the target, regardless of the date.
It just seemed natural at first that "Compare by Content" would ignore the date always and therefore Action would determine the direction of the copy since the date was being ignored by the "Compare by Content". I had lost sight of the two-step process ("Compare by" followed by "Action") with Action always being based on date.
I had rarely used Duplicate before (and probably never had the target files newer than the source before either so had not stumbled across this particluar case) but I see now I should be using Duplicate pretty much every time I use Compare by Content to make sure I have a perfect copy of something.
Thanks for clearing this up for me!