John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google published a post at Webmaster Central Blog and gave some commonly-asked questions to SEOs, webmasters about how Google shows dates in the search results.
John said that Google’s shows the date of a page in the search results when its automated systems find out that it is relevant to do so, such as for pages that can be time-sensitive, including news content:
John added that Google uses numerous of factors when determines a page including any prominent date mentioned on the page or provided by the publisher through structured markup.
Due to lack of structured data and content publishers does not provide clear date so that is why Google doesn’t depend on one single factor because all of them can be prone to issues. That’s why Google automated systems look at multiple factors to shows dates next to listings in search results when a page was published or updated.
How to Specify a Date on a Web Page for Search Results:
John provided technical help that how site owners and publishers can mentioned date when page become live or published and Google to pick the right date
- Show a clear date: Show a visible date prominently on the page.
- Use structured data: Use the date Published and date Modified schema with the correct time zone for AMP or non-AMP pages. When using structured data, make sure to use the ISO 8601 format for dates.
Google News Guidelines:
Google News requires clearly showing both the date and the time that content was published or updated. Use only structured is not enough, so it is recommended to use a visible date and time. Because they will be visible between the headline and the article text. Furthermore you can get help page about article dates.
If an article has been updated, it is important to change or update with a fresh date and time. John said that “do not create a very slightly updated story from one previously published, then delete the old story and redirect to the new one. That’s against Google article URLs guidelines.”
I think these guidelines help provided by John Muller will help to make it easier for publisher and site owners to specify the right date on the web pages. If you have any questions or comments on this update, feel free to use Google’s webmaster help forums.