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Google shows date before description tag in search results

Why?

     
11:37 am on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

I noticed that Google is showing the date of the page before the descripton tag in the searchresults, allthough my website is not a newssite...

Does anybody know how can I remove that?

12:34 pm on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You mean cached date?
12:37 pm on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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No, before the descripton tag...

Like:

22 april 2009 ... model: agila type: 1.3 dt cdti 16v cosmo prijs: 4800 kleur: zilver interieur kleur: blauw kilometerstand: 113000 bouwjaar: 2003 ...

12:40 pm on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It must be picking up from the content on the page. Just change the description to include the keyword for which date is shown and it would be fine.
1:08 pm on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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But I didn't include the date in my description tag, but google does...
8:30 pm on May 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The get it from any "Date" meta tag in the HTML <head> section of the page, or from any "Last Updated" text within the visible web page content, or from the file date sent in the HTTP header for the page.
11:15 pm on May 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It's been happening for a while now. I have "Last updated..." in the footer of pages, and they're using that when it's on the page. And they do look at "freshness" of pages - with updates in content and/or changes in the file size of pages, as well as changes in inbound links.
8:10 am on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Now there even is a date before the description tag at the search result of my homepage! And there is no date mentionated on my homepage!

I'm really scared that this can affect my CTR in the google searchresults in a negative way...

8:39 am on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Is this for a forum or blog?
8:43 am on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Nope, a classified ads site...
9:47 am on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Is there a date stamp when someone places a classified? That might be where they're getting the info from.

Personally, I think it's a good thing because it adds an extra line to your SERP listing. I don't know if it helps CTR but my gut feeling is it may because in some cases it will cause your listing to increase from a four line listing to a five line listing.

9:50 am on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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There is a date stamp on the classified ad page, but on the homepage there's no stamp and there it shows a date too...

Also other classified ads sites do not have a date stamp in the description...

A date doesn't add an extra line, it looks like this:

Domain.be > Gratis Zoekertjes Plaatsen!
9 may 2009...Belgen plaatsen hier gratis zoekertjes; Het plaatsen van een zoekertje verloopt hier gratis en eenvoudig, bovendien is succes gegarandeerd!
www.domain.be/ - 25k - In cache - Gelijkwaardige pagina's -

11:40 am on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I just think Google thinks my site is a news website while it isn't, what can I do about it?
11:50 am on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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There is a date stamp on the classified ad page, but on the homepage there's no stamp and there it shows a date too...

Not to worry. They're picking up the Last-Modified date from the (server) HTTP headers for the day when they last crawled the page. If you run a URL through an HTTP viewer you'll see something like this:

Last-Modified:·Sun,·10·May·2009·11:48:02·GMT(CR)(LF)

Mystery solved.

12:25 pm on May 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Would it be a solution to put the date in an image?

This would be a change on more then 200.000 pages, will this affect my rankings?

12:39 pm on May 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The point is, they will still try to assign a date for each page of content. Be sure they find the right one.

We still don't know exactly how the information is being used, or even if is being used for anything other than display, so your efforts to manipulate it might end up with a negative effect.

I'd say, let it be. There's likely other things more important to be worrying about.

12:55 pm on May 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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There's quite a lot of discussion on this that is worth a read:

Google Displaying Dates before Snippets [webmasterworld.com]
Snippets and Preceding Dates [webmasterworld.com]

10:48 pm on May 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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>Would it be a solution to put the date in an image?

No, because they'll just get the date from the HTTP headers.

>This would be a change on more then 200.000 pages,

Which would be a waste of time.

>will this affect my rankings?

Think of it this way: with a site like yours, what's better for users? Older pages, months old; or current, fresh pages? If Google can tell what kind of a site it is, which is more likely to get a rankings demotion or boost?