Google search attorney John Mueller delves into whether including publication dates in web page title tags has any impact in terms of SEO.
This topic was discussed during a recent Business Hours Hangout at Google Search Central SEO.
An SEO professional working on a currency reporting website asks Mueller if he should include dates in titles when writing articles about changes in currency values.
Here’s what Mueller says about the dates in the title tags.
Putting dates in title tags – is it good for SEO?
Mueller says you can put dates in the title tags if you wish, though it doesn’t change anything for SEO.
It might make sense to use dates in news article titles, but Google has other ways to find out when it was published.
“If you want to. I don’t think it changes anything. For news articles, I think it makes more sense to include the date in different places on the page, and that could include the title.”
Just because with news articles we try to understand the basic history of the page. And we do that by looking at all the mentions and things that you have on the page.
And we can confirm that date with these signals on the page, and then it’s easier for us to pick that out, but I think on a page that’s constantly changing like currency rates as you mentioned… I don’t think it’s important to have the date in the header.”
The person who asked the question explains that they don’t just change the title tag, they create and publish a new article every day.
Mueller initially misunderstands and believes that the articles are generated automatically every day, which leads him to say:
“I think that would make it harder for us to crawl and index your website. That’s kind of the flip side there, if you’re auto-generating these pages on a daily basis for all currencies…”
He made it clear to Mueller that articles are not generated automatically.
A new article is created and published manually each day reporting changes to currency values, with context as to why the value has gone up or down.
In this case, Mueller says, it would be okay to put a date in the title because it’s the equivalent of a news article.
In my view, these would be normal news articles, so if you want to include the date in places like this, I think that’s perfectly fine. I don’t think you’ll get any magical SEO bonus from adding the date, but that’s okay. Absolutely. “
In conclusion, adding dates in titles does not affect SEO negatively or positively.
If you think it would be helpful for searchers to see a date in the page title, go ahead and add it.
Another key tip here is that it only makes sense to include the dates when something new is posted, or a major change is made to the content.
Mueller advised equally on Twitter earlier this week:
When you write something new, or significantly change something existing, change the date. Changing the date without doing anything else is just noise and useless.
– 🐄 John 🐄 (@JohnMu) February 5, 2022
Hear Mueller’s full response in the video below:
Featured image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, February 2022.