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Google On The SEO Impact Of Dates In Title Tags

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Google On The SEO Impact Of Dates In Title Tags


Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller addresses whether including publishing dates in webpage title tags has any impact as far as SEO is concerned.

This topic is discussed during a recent Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout.

An SEO professional, who’s working on a website that reports on currencies, asks Mueller if he should include dates in titles when writing articles about changes in currency values.

Here’s what Mueller says about dates in title tags.

Putting Dates In Title Tags – Good For SEO?

Mueller says you can put dates in title tags if you want to, though it doesn’t change anything for SEO.

It may make more sense use dates in titles for news articles, but Google has other ways of figuring out the publishing date.

Mueller states:

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“If you want to. I don’t think it changes anything. For news articles I do think it makes sense to include the date in various places on the page, and that can include the title.

Just because with news articles we try to understand what the primary date is of the page. And we do that by looking at all of the mentions and things that you have on the page.

And we can confirm that date with these mentions on the page, then it’s easier for us to pick that up, but I think for a page that is changing constantly like currency prices like you mentioned… I don’t think it’s critical to have the date in the title.”

The person who asked the question clarifies they’re not just changing the title tag, but creating and publishing a new article every day.

Mueller initially misunderstands and thinks the articles are being automatically generated everyday, which leads him to saying:

“I suspect that will make it really hard for us to crawl and index your website. So that’s kind of the other aspect there, if youre automatically generating these pages on a daily basis for all of the currencies…”

It’s made clearer to Mueller that the articles are not being generated automatically.

A new article is being manually created and published every day to report on changes to currency values, with context on why the value went up or down.

Mueller says, in that case, a date in the title would be acceptable since it’s the equivalent of a news article.

“From my point of view then those would be normal news articles, so if you want to include the date in places like that, I think that’s perfectly fine. I don’t think you would get any magical SEO bonus from adding the date, but it’s OK. Sure.”

In conclusion, adding dates in titles doesn’t positively or negatively impact SEO.

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If you believe it will be beneficial to searchers to see a date in the page title, then go ahead and add it.

Another key takeaway here is that it only makes sense to include dates when something new is being published, or a significant change has been made to the content.

Mueller advised as much on Twitter earlier this week:

Hear Mueller’s full response in the video below:


Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, February 2022.

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Aftermath Of August 8 Google Outage

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Aftermath Of August 8 Google Outage

Google experienced a major outage this week that affected Search and Maps. Publishers and SEOs also reported problems with search indexing.

The problem seems to largely be resolved, although earlier today there were still some pockets reporting ongoing issues.

Ranking Disruptions

Many people reported disruptions in rankings, and some thought it was due to a ranking update.

One panicked individual posted a discussion on WebmasterWorld about lost rankings:

“I’ve noticed something that really worries me. Some of the main keywords got dropped from 1-2nd place to 10th.

This happened overnight, yesterday everything was fine. Today what I see is that keywords are going from top positions to the bottom of 1st page.

The reason is quite obvious at least in my eyes – the displayed URLs are not relevant. For example, our top ranking page for many commercial keywords was changed (by Google) with a page that is almost not relevant.

…Something else I see is that when using site:sitename.com the indexed pages dropped again overnight from ~230 to 169! The home page in the local language does not show anywhere.”

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On August 10, 2022, the person who started the discussion reported:

“Things seem to be back to normal at least for our website.”

Many others on Twitter and Facebook are also saying no further issues are lingering around.

Indexing Issues

An area that the mainstream media didn’t report was an indexing issue. Many in the search community posted about problems with indexing.

Marie Haynes asked if anyone was still seeing problems with indexing:

Some reported that things were back to normal or beginning to return:

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Google uses data centers all around the world, and changes introduced to search have historically taken time to spread worldwide.

Google Apologizes

The Guardian reported that a Google spokesperson apologized for the outage and explained it was due to a software update (that caused unintended consequences).

“We’re aware of a software update issue that occurred late this afternoon Pacific Time and briefly affected availability of Google search and Maps,” they said.

“We apologise for the inconvenience. We worked to quickly address the issue and our services are now back online.”

Google rankings and indexing issues should be resolved now; if they haven’t, give it a little more time.

If they haven’t changed by the end of the week, it is possible that it could be unrelated to the outage because coincidences do happen.

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Featured image by Shutterstock/Bilanol

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