A couple of years ago, we reported that Google said that with dates and times in the search results snippets, sometimes they admit they just get it wrong. But why does Google get it wrong? Gary Illyes from Google said you can almost always blame the webmaster/site owner for Google getting the date wrong.
Gary was asked about why Google would show the wrong date when every signal the web site is giving is the correct date. Gary responded on Twitter saying “but most often this happens when there’s overwhelming evidence showing that you, the website owner who made the change, are wrong.”
Here is the back and forth in full context:
dunno for sure, but most often this happens when there’s overwhelming evidence showing that you, the website owner who made the change, are wrong. there’s not that much you can do about it at the moment, but to try to change the references that contain the old names.
— Gary 鯨理／경리 Illyes (@methode) October 12, 2020
In March 2019, Google’s John Mueller wrote a long blog post named Help Google Search know the best date for your web page. So there are tips there to help Google pick the right date.
But as I said, Google has had their issues with showing the right dates in the snippets. Google even showed future dates in the snippets before and they know they have an issue as we said before. This snippet date thing is an ongoing issue for Google, we’ve covered it many times. In fact, sometimes it shows the impossible and sometimes people do trick Google but the signals Google uses for picking up dates is not perfect and it is an ongoing project for them.
I guess most of the time, we are to blame. Which is probably accurate, right?
Forum discussion at Twitter.