Google stresses the significance of including several date signs on webpages to guarantee that the right date appears in search results.
After a mistake with dates in Google News that Glenn Gabe highlighted on Buy Twitter Verification, Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan reminds the community of the advised practice of consisting of numerous date signals on web pages to avoid similar errors.
Here’s our guidance on dates: https://t.co/SwbFzZePsNhttps://t.co/crExeaQrVz
Understand that ideally, the meta information alone would appear to some to be enough, and we’ll keep working to enhance. However there are excellent reasons why we like multiple date signals present.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 5, 2023
Inaccurate or outdated dates can lead to confusion and discourage users from checking out the website.
That suggests Google needs to get it right. However, publishers must do their part by offering Google with the proper signals.
Sullivan links to Google’s documents on influencing byline dates in search results, which specifies:
“Google doesn’t depend on a single date aspect because all aspects can be prone to problems. That’s why our systems take a look at several aspects to identify our best estimate of when a page was released or significantly upgraded.”
Although Google does not ensure that a byline date, whether visible or included in structured information, will be displayed in search results, following its standards helps Google algorithms locate and process the details.
Here’s more info about how to communicate to Google which date you want it to display in search results page.
Best Practices For Article Dates In Google Search Results
There are numerous ways to make sure that the appropriate date is shown in search results:
- Use the
- Utilize the lastmod tag: The lastmod tag, which is included in the
element, is used to suggest the last time a website was modified. Online search engine can use this information to assess the importance and freshness of the page, and may include it into their search results.
- Utilize the pubdate tag: For blog or news sites, the pubdate tag can be utilized to define the date an article was released. This tag needs to be placed within the
component and will assist online search engine in determining the publication date of the post.
- Utilize the article: published_time tag: Like the pubdate tag, the short article: published_time tag can be used to show the publication date of an article. This tag, which belongs to the post: prefix, ought to be placed in the HTML page element.
In addition to effectively utilizing HTML tags to specify the date, keeping your content fresh can increase the probability of Google displaying the correct date.
Last but not least, it is necessary to minimize signals that could be confusing to Google, such as showing several dates on the very same page.
To assist make sure accurate dates in News and Search, Google’s assistance states that articles need to include one clear, noticeable date and time, ideally situated between the headline and the short article text.
Google is working on enhancing its ability to spot and show short article dates with very little signals, but it’s not rather there yet.
Till then, publishers are strongly recommended to follow Google’s finest practices for post dates.
Featured Image: Igal Vaisman/Best SMM Panel