April 16, 2015 | Sarah Danks


Ever been doing research for a blog post, article, e-book or what have you and you’ve found a great resource but you can’t for the life of you find the date stamp?

Is this information still relevant? Can you quote it?

finding-when-web-page-was-written

Well, wonder no more. I ran into the same conundrum a few weeks ago while researching a different post. I found some info that helped me date an article I wanted to quote.

In this social media-heavy Internet world we live in, not everything’s a blog post with a handy “published on” date…

…and, some blog posts just straight up don’t have a time/date stamp. This can make it hard to know when content was written. You find so much information online; it’d be nice to have a way to know for sure when it was released into the wild!

So here’s how to go about finding content’s publish date (or at the very least its index date…which is *nearly always* close, if not the same thing).

Using the “inurl:” operator, search for the URL of the content in question. If you see a date in the SERP snippet, that’s the date you’re looking for:

inurl-operator-can-show-content-publish-date

BUT, if you use the inurl: search operator and you don’t see a date — like this:

inurl-operator-find-web-page-birth-date

Don’t lose hope. One more simple step will give you the publish date of that content.

Simply head up to the END of the URL in the address bar and add &as_qdr=y15 and then hit Enter.

inurl-find-web-page-birth-date-2

Here we can see the previous result, but now we’ve got a publish date!

Voilà!

Now, keep in mind this handy trick works best with news articles and/or blog posts. Why? Because most often when those things are published, they’re not re-visited or changed after the fact. And if they are, it’s most likely because a typo was found or something was added that was originally missed; in any case, it’ll most likely be edited quickly after the initial publish.

The problem with this — if you go wild and decide to do this for every single search all the time — is that a business’s website content (along with evergreen content) is often published, left alone, then updated only every so often.

Although the content remains mostly the same on those web pages, this handy little trick will probably show the date of the last update; not the original publish (or index) date. So keep that in mind. Of course, this point isn’t as big of a deal with evergreen content since it doesn’t change enough to make a difference when it’s quoted.

So, there you have it — a quick way to find the publish date of online content!


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