Google stresses the importance of consisting of several date indications on web pages to ensure that the appropriate date appears in search results page.
After a mistake with dates in Google News that Glenn Gabe highlighted on Twitter, Google’s Browse Liaison Danny Sullivan reminds the community of the advised practice of including multiple date signals on websites to prevent similar mistakes.
Here’s our assistance on dates: https://t.co/SwbFzZePsNhttps://t.co/crExeaQrVz
Understand that preferably, the meta information alone would seem to some to be enough, and we’ll keep working to improve. But there are excellent reasons why we like several date signals present.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 5, 2023
Incorrect or out-of-date dates can lead to confusion and prevent users from checking out the website.
That suggests Google must get it right. However, publishers need to do their part by providing Google with the proper signals.
Sullivan links to Google’s documentation on influencing byline dates in search results, which states:
“Google doesn’t depend on a single date factor because all factors can be susceptible to problems. That’s why our systems look at a number of factors to determine our best quote of when a page was released or substantially updated.”
Although Google does not guarantee that a byline date, whether noticeable or included in structured data, will be shown in search engine result, following its standards helps Google algorithms locate and process the details.
Here’s more details about how to interact to Google which date you desire it to show in search results page.
Finest Practices For Article Dates In Google Search Results Page
There are a number of methods to make sure that the appropriate date is displayed in search engine result:
- Use the
- Use the lastmod tag: The lastmod tag, which is consisted of in the
aspect, is used to indicate the last time a website was customized. Search engines can use this information to examine the significance and freshness of the page, and may integrate it into their search results page.
- Utilize the pubdate tag: For blog site or news sites, the pubdate tag can be used to define the date a short article was published. This tag ought to be placed within the
aspect and will assist online search engine in determining the publication date of the post.
- Use the short article: published_time tag: Like the pubdate tag, the article: published_time tag can be utilized to suggest the publication date of an article. This tag, which is part of the post: prefix, must be placed in the HTML page aspect.
In addition to appropriately utilizing HTML tags to define the date, keeping your material fresh can increase the probability of Google displaying the correct date.
Last but not least, it is necessary to minimize signals that might be confusing to Google, such as showing several dates on the exact same page.
To assist ensure accurate dates in News and Browse, Google’s assistance states that articles must include one clear, visible date and time, ideally situated in between the heading and the post text.
Google is working on improving its capability to detect and display article dates with very little signals, but it’s not quite there yet.
Till then, publishers are strongly advised to follow Google’s best practices for post dates.
Featured Image: Igal Vaisman/SMM Panel