The publish date can receive rich snippet data and show up on Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) for your pages, posts and articles. To understand what is being discussed, if you do a search on Google.com for “how to screenshot on my iphone” you might see a result that has a date stamped in front of the Description.

publish date google search result

Options for adding Publish Dates to Your Google Results

  1. The publish date at the top of the article. Google may or may not add it.
  2. Use schema markup and add it in the <head> section of the page, such as:
    <meta itemprop=“datePublished” content=“2019-10-09”>
  3. You can also add it in the <body> of the page, such as:
    <span itemprop=”datePublished”> October 9th, 2019</span>
  4. Use JSON code and mark up the page, such as:<script type=”application/ld+json”>
    {
    “@context”: “https://schema.org”,
    “@type”: “NewsArticle”,
    “mainEntityOfPage”: {
    “@type”: “WebPage”,
    “@id”: “https://google.com/article”
    },
    “headline”: “Article headline”,
    “image”: [
    “https://example.com/photos/16×9/photo.jpg”
    ],
    “datePublished”: “2015-02-05T08:00:00+08:00”,
    “dateModified”: “2019-10-09T09:20:00+08:00”,
    “author”: {
    “@type”: “Person”,
    “name”: “John Doe”
    },
    “publisher”: {
    “@type”: “Organization”,
    “name”: “Google”,
    “logo”: {
    “@type”: “ImageObject”,
    “url”: “https://google.com/logo.jpg”
    }
    },
    “description”: “A most wonderful article”
    }
    </script>

How to I get the post date to show up in the SERP correctly?

There is usually a 30-day delay for Google before they show the post date in the Google SERP. The time frame may vary but seems to be a good general rule of thumb. The example above shows the post date showing up much earlier with the dateModified JSON code.

How does the publish date impact my SEO?

The publish date my not directly impact your SEO, but refreshing your content on the page would have a much larger impact. If you have ranked in the top 5 on Google for specific searches, and have slipped down in rankings, it may be a good opportunity to refresh your content on the ranking landing page.

We have a Case Study where this was performed on a blog post. The post was from 2012 and was begging for an update in content. The content was refreshed and you can see the rankings change from the updated content and publish date.

Below is a Google ranking report:

publish date content update

For more information, you can research Google’s Structured Data for Articles in their Google Search Reference Section.