Categories: Structured data & rich snippets :

How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results?

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How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Rasmussen College 1/9/14 11:46 AM
I've read the FAQs and searched the help center. 

Questions:
If we don't include the date of the page within the code, how is Google finding this information?
How can we remove this snippet from search results?

Context
The traffic to this page has dropped immensely since the date has been added in search results, which is critical to this school. It's one of our largest programs so the urgency is high. 

Troubleshooting:
  • We looked into possibly rendering the date through a combination of Javascript and PHP but couldn't locate the date.
  • We've updated the page recently but still failed to see any changes to the date in search results. 
  • Conducted a general search "business management degree" and attached the screenshot of results in question.

    • Then, used an advanced search filter by date dating back to 1/1/2000 and site operator (site:). Surprisingly this page doesn't appear anywhere in the results, which leads me to believe the date posted was Google's best guess to the publication date.
    • Devry's date changes when using the date filter, which I presume is filtering by the publish date or revision date whichever comes first.


Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? webado 1/9/14 6:50 PM
https://web.archive.org/web/20100415000000*/http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/business/business-management/

The first time the page was cached by the Internet Archive was in April 2010. It's a fair assumption that April 29 is the date Google first discovered it too.

My 2 cents.
Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? StevieD_Web 1/9/14 7:05 PM
I do see some 2011 etc in the source code of the page, but no 2010.  

Wait patiently.  One of our Rising Stars already escalated your concerns to see if somebody from Google can explain the who/why.
Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? JohnMu 1/10/14 1:33 AM
Hi!

Thanks for posting -- I've passed your feedback on to the team!

Cheers
John
Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Rasmussen College 1/10/14 8:18 AM
Thank you! I look forward to hearing what they come back with.
(unknown) 1/13/14 3:19 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Brby Webmas 1/13/14 3:20 AM
This is very similar to a problem I've posted regarding old dates appearing against pages with video: http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!searchin/webmasters/Mobile$20Search$20Results$20showing$20old$20date$20against$20new$20video/webmasters/b4GB5UXE7s0/BO7EVDjpmA4J

Are you seeing the date on desktop searches or mobile?
Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Shinhee Son 1/13/14 8:11 AM
I do see it for both.

I have a feeling this problem won't be easily fixed. I've heard removing rich snippet dates from appearing is a lengthy process.
Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Daniel Lloyd Barrett 1/14/14 10:07 AM
Have you tried updating the page? 

Maybe after a few years the page could do with a look over, perhaps you could add some more information.

Once it's re-published you'll have a new date :)


Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Brby Webmas 1/14/14 10:11 AM
In my experience the date reflects when the URL was first indexed by Google. Updating the content has never changed the date for me (but maybe our scenarios are different).
Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Daniel Lloyd Barrett 1/14/14 10:28 AM
I was thinking about static html pages but now you mention it most are delivered via content management systems nowadays.

A temporary solution if the date is so important, they could add the published date and update it each term.

Once the snippets reflect what's on the page simple remove the published date
Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Brby Webmas 1/15/14 6:04 AM
Completely agree Daniel, for the OP's scenario I'd take that approach too as it sounds like their bottom line is being impacted heavily and its only a single page. Hopefully Google will confirm if it is a bug and address so it doesn't have to be done many times for users with videos across many pages.

@Rasmussen College - if you do take this approach please let us know if it's successful.
Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Pwood 1/23/14 6:18 AM
I've also come across something similar, where publication dates of books are showing up as the last time the page was updated, for instance this google search shows the waterstones page was last updated in 1995! https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=the+origins+of+drama+in+scandinavia+waterstones&oq=the+origins+of+drama+in+scandinavia+waterstones&aqs=chrome.0.69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 

This is also a problem we're suffering and I don't know how to rectify, nor is anyone at google helping.
Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Daniel Lloyd Barrett 1/23/14 6:59 AM
I'm surprised at this one.

I would have thought a company like waterstones would have this sorted out by now.

They should use the shema meta data markup up for books using the datepublished tag. Infact they have a full section of tags just for books, surely they must know about this!

Here is the link to the schema markup http://www.schema.org/Book

Dan
Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Brby Webmas 1/23/14 7:00 AM
Hi Pwood, interesting example. It's certainly not explicit on the snippet that the date is the publishing date. I agree, users are likely to think this is the last updated date for the webpage (however crazy 1995 sounds!). It'd be funny to see what they show in the snippet if you altered the publishing date for a book to a very old date, such as 1456 for the Gutenberg Bible.  :)


Re: How is Google pulling the publish date of a page and how do we remove this from search results? Rasmussen College 2/8/14 12:57 PM
Well it appears they've fixed the issue of identifying pages with video where including a date rich snippet is actually helpful and where it's not. The date's been recently removed for our degree pages but still remains for articles and blog posts with video!