An important factor in whether an internet user clicks on your result to Google is its publication date, which is displayed prominently in search results.
Newer content is more attractive.
Google determines dates for webpages based on many factors, including:
Any notable date listed on the actual page
Dates provided by the page author through structured markup were used to create the syntax for this information.
Find out how Google determines the date on your webpage for search results display.
Of course, Google doesn’t always show a date in its search results. If that date is particularly relevant to the content of the post, Google will generally show it.
But what if you need to update your content and want to refresh the date of the publication from its original publication date? Here are five ways to obtain Google to display the correct publication date in search results.
Confirm the basics
Please refer to the aforementioned URL (viewable to readers) for the release date of the post. The publication date must be included in the structured markup for the page using the ISO 8601 format.
Remember that Google News is slightly less strict, requiring the date to be displayed between the headline and the article text.
You should make sure that the information is correct from the start.
Go beyond superficial updating
Google strongly advises against “artificially freshened” content. That doesn’t imply that you can update your date only when you have actually changed the content.
Of course, updating content can vary on the type of content you’re working with, but a good rule of thumb is to:
Review all text and make any necessary changes or corrections.
Add any new information that prompted you to update your content to start off with.
Update current links or add new ones.
Add or modify graphics.
Specifically, Google says: Don’t artificially freshen a story without adding significant information or some other compelling reason for the freshening.
Make the change to your date
Once you have (significantly) revised your content, update your publication date.
Of course, this is as easy as changing the date and time, but a best practice is to use both the original publication date and when it was updated. You can use the “datePublished” and “dateModified” tags for AMP and non-AMP pages to help the algorithms better recognize a change in date. Additionally, ensure that you’re in the correct time zone if you are indicating a time as well.
Be sure to use the date that is associated with the content you are posting or updating instead of the publication date. For example, if you are writing about an upcoming event, do not use the date of the event itself. It’s all about the timing of the publication and revisions, not any future dates or other dates related to the content.
Be consistent in usage
Consistency guidelines. It’s important to ensure that you not only maintain the same formatting across all of your pages, but you must also guarantee that the date (and possibly time) that is on each page is the same as it is in your structured data.
If you deviate from your usual routine in any way, you will lose credibility with search engines like Google.
When in doubt, troubleshoot
If everything you’re doing is correct and you still don’t see the correct date on your search listings, then it’s time to troubleshoot.
One way to begin troubleshooting is by looking for any other dates that might occur on your page for any reason. If there are other dates that can be eliminated or reduced, do so. For example, you may have dates appearing in a list of related stories.
Keep in mind that while you can set up your websites for success, you have no control over what Google will ultimately do. If something is being incorrectly pulled, though, you will want to review your structured data and everything else that Google is pulling from.