Google stresses the importance of including numerous date indicators on websites to make sure that the proper date appears in search results.
After a mistake with dates in Google News that Glenn Gabe highlighted on Twitter, Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan reminds the community of the suggested practice of consisting of numerous date signals on webpages to prevent comparable errors.
Here’s our assistance on dates: https://t.co/SwbFzZePsNhttps://t.co/crExeaQrVz
Understand that ideally, the meta data alone would appear to some to be enough, and we’ll keep working to improve. But there are great reasons that we like numerous date signals present.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 5, 2023
Inaccurate or outdated dates can lead to confusion and prevent users from visiting the website.
That suggests Google should get it right. Nevertheless, publishers need to do their part by offering Google with the appropriate signals.
Sullivan links to Google’s paperwork on affecting byline dates in search engine result, which mentions:
“Google does not depend on a single date aspect because all elements can be vulnerable to concerns. That’s why our systems take a look at numerous aspects to determine our finest estimate of when a page was released or considerably updated.”
Although Google does not guarantee that a byline date, whether noticeable or included in structured information, will be displayed in search results page, following its guidelines assists Google algorithms locate and process the details.
Here’s more information about how to interact to Google which date you want it to show in search engine result.
Best Practices For Article Dates In Google Search Results Page
There are several methods to ensure that the right date is displayed in search results:
- Utilize the
- Utilize the lastmod tag: The lastmod tag, which is consisted of in the
element, is utilized to show the last time a website was modified. Search engines can utilize this info to evaluate the relevance and freshness of the page, and may include it into their search results.
- Utilize the pubdate tag: For blog or news websites, the pubdate tag can be used to specify the date an article was released. This tag needs to be positioned within the
component and will assist online search engine in determining the publication date of the article.
- Utilize the short article: published_time tag: Like the pubdate tag, the article: published_time tag can be used to indicate the publication date of a short article. This tag, which becomes part of the short article: prefix, should be put in the HTML page element.
In addition to properly using HTML tags to specify the date, keeping your content fresh can increase the likelihood of Google showing the right date.
Last but not least, it is very important to lessen signals that might be puzzling to Google, such as displaying numerous dates on the exact same page.
To assist guarantee accurate dates in News and Search, Google’s guidance states that posts ought to include one clear, visible date and time, preferably situated between the headline and the post text.
Google is working on improving its capability to detect and show short article dates with very little signals, however it’s not rather there yet.
Until then, publishers are highly advised to follow Google’s best practices for short article dates.
Included Image: Igal Vaisman/SMM Panel