When it comes to search engine optimization, there are a lot of things to understand. Even professionals need to keep learning to stay on top of search engine algorithm updates.
Still, much remains unknown regarding the proper optimization process. One of the questions that have been circulating among webmasters is: does inserting dates in webpage title tags improve SEO performance?
If there’s anyone who can give a definitive answer to this, it’s none other than Google’s Search Advocate, John Mueller.
During a Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout, Mueller was asked by an SEO expert whether including dates does any good for the currency reporting site they’re working on.
Adding Dates To Title Tags – What Mueller Says About It
According to the Search Advocate, it’s okay to insert dates in title tags. However, that won’t affect SEO in any way.
Dates may be helpful when included in news articles, but Google still knows exactly when you push out your content even if you don’t show the publishing date.
Things become clearer to Mueller when the questioner says they’re writing a fresh article for the site every day, which means that the website is not automatically updated by a content generator.
The webmaster goes the manual way by creating and posting new content every day. Their focus is to report on the fluctuations in currency rates.
Knowing this, Mueller says date inclusion is appropriate as what they’re writing is identical to a news article.
John Mueller‘s answer:
If you want to. I don’t think it changes anything. For news articles I do think it makes sense to include the date in various places on the page, and that can include the title.
Just because with news articles we try to understand what the primary date is of the page. And we do that by looking at all of the mentions and things that you have on the page.
And we can confirm that date with these mentions on the page, then it’s easier for us to pick that up, but I think for a page that is changing constantly like currency prices like you mentioned… I don’t think it’s critical to have the date in the title.
I suspect that will make it really hard for us to crawl and index your website. So that’s kind of the other aspect there, if youre automatically generating these pages on a daily basis for all of the currencies…
From my point of view then those would be normal news articles, so if you want to include the date in places like that, I think that’s perfectly fine. I don’t think you would get any magical SEO bonus from adding the date, but it’s OK. Sure.John Mueller
At the end of the day, we all know that adding dates won’t help or hinder SEO. It may just be good sometimes if it matches your type of content or you believe it will be useful for searchers.
For a website that’s updated with daily publications, date inclusion clearly makes sense. Showing dates also fit the bill when you make an important change to your existing content.