Published / Last Modification Date on the Webpage – Best SEO Practice

Content Published date and last modification date is really tending to SEO ranking?

We know – Google shows date on the Google snippet (SERP). Google may show published date or updated date in the snippet. It depends on Google. You can also show time with date if possible. Google also see this but use right time zone.

Google may show future date sometime but google said in their blog., don’t use future date.

Published Date = Original Date

Updated Date = Last Modification Date


Can I use fake published / updated date on the Page?

People may use fake date for both cases (publish & Updated), and may be show fake date on the snippet. How google handle this?

Google crawl webpages on the regular basis and publish / updated date can be analyzed by google itself by comparing content.

Although, I have not seen any penalty for fake date, But Gary said that Google is working on it and may take strict action in future.

See details


SEO Benefit of Publish & Last Modification Date

Generally, users do not click much on older content in the snippet. That’s why the date is matter for SEO CTR.

And also Google recommend put date on the page, google consider both date.



Removing publish date from the page may hurt your site?

May be, this is a part of A/B testing. Not sure about it. Monitor ranking while doing this.

Soutmeloud did an experiment on it


How Google Know Article Publish date and Last modification date?

Google find it from the webpage if you have mentioned anywhere.

Other method – Google find these dates from structure data. WordPress have this feature already.

If google picked the wrong date, then remove or minimize these dates.

Google use multiple signals for this. Google may pick date from Sitemap file, your article byline, the first time Google discovers the page or something else.




Is showing updated date on the post instead of published date a good idea?

Yes, Definitely, I will also recommend this, use updated date on the page instead of publish date.

Use WordPress plugin for it


What is the Difference between lastmod Date in XML sitemap and web page?

Why we need to add last modification date on the webpage while using this date in xml sitemap.

Google said on this question that sitemap lastmod for whole page (body + head) changes, on the other hand page lastmod for page content changes.




What Will Happen If Published Date Same for Multiple Pages

Many people do this. They write content in bulk and publish them on same time. This is a bad SEO practice. We should add content one by one and should take minimum 1-2 days gap for publishing.

If you don’t have consistency of posting or post too many pages on the same day – in that case – Google think that content is auto-generated or not a manual content and written by a real Author/writer. If you regularly post too many pages through multiple authors then it is fine.

If you have already posted multiple pages on same date then better to remove dates from the page. Google will pick date when it will crawl for their other ranking analysis. (not for snippet)

Important Links

Search Engine Land – How Google Explained Dates on Search Result Snippet

Google Webmaster Blog – Date on SERP

Saurabh Rawat: I am SEO Analyst having 10 years of experience, Help to improve website ranking and organic traffic.