Google worries the importance of including several date indications on web pages to make sure that the right date appears in search results page.
After an error with dates in Google News that Glenn Gabe highlighted on Twitter, Google’s Browse Intermediary Danny Sullivan advises the community of the suggested practice of including multiple date signals on web pages to prevent comparable errors.
Here’s our guidance on dates: https://t.co/SwbFzZePsNhttps://t.co/crExeaQrVz
Understand that preferably, the meta information alone would appear to some to be enough, and we’ll keep working to enhance. However there are good reasons why we like numerous date signals present.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 5, 2023
Inaccurate or out-of-date dates can cause confusion and prevent users from visiting the website.
That means Google must get it right. However, publishers should do their part by offering Google with the correct signals.
Sullivan links to Google’s paperwork on influencing byline dates in search engine result, which mentions:
“Google doesn’t depend on a single date aspect because all elements can be prone to issues. That’s why our systems take a look at a number of elements to determine our finest estimate of when a page was published or considerably upgraded.”
Although Google does not guarantee that a byline date, whether noticeable or contained in structured data, will be displayed in search results, following its guidelines assists Google algorithms locate and process the details.
Here’s more info about how to interact to Google which date you want it to show in search results.
Best Practices For Article Dates In Google Search Results Page
There are numerous methods to guarantee that the appropriate date is displayed in search engine result:
- Utilize the
- Utilize the lastmod tag: The lastmod tag, which is included in the
aspect, is utilized to indicate the last time a webpage was modified. Search engines can utilize this information to evaluate the importance and freshness of the page, and may incorporate it into their search results.
- Utilize the pubdate tag: For blog or news sites, the pubdate tag can be utilized to specify the date a short article was published. This tag should be put within the
element and will assist search engines in figuring out the publication date of the article.
- Use the post: published_time tag: Like the pubdate tag, the post: published_time tag can be used to indicate the publication date of an article. This tag, which belongs to the article: prefix, ought to 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 proper date.
Last but not least, it’s important to reduce signals that could be puzzling to Google, such as showing several dates on the exact same page.
To assist guarantee precise dates in News and Search, Google’s assistance states that posts must consist of one clear, visible date and time, ideally situated in between the heading and the article text.
Google is dealing with enhancing its capability to discover and show article dates with minimal signals, however it’s not rather there yet.
Up until then, publishers are highly encouraged to follow Google’s best practices for article dates.
Featured Image: Igal Vaisman/SMM Panel