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I noticed today that rich snippets belonging to my landing pages are showing an incorrect date.

Here for example, I'm showing up as the first organic result (bitbond). The date says this page was published on the 22nd of March 2011. The real publication date, as shown in Wordpress, is October 2016.

In the screenshot provided above, you can see that the bitbond landing page is showing the 22nd of March 2011 as the publication date. The real publication date, as shown in WordPress, is in October 2016.

This problem can't be older than a week and I dont know what could have caused it. Blog posts are not affected.

If anyone has experience with solving this problem, please let me know.

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    Has this URL existed before? It seems like this would be the case. If so, then this is likely the inception date, the date Google first fetched the page, and will not change regardless of what you do. You can likely use some form of modification date and that might do something positive. Not an expert in this area. Sorry. Cheers!! – closetnoc Nov 15 '16 at 1:24
  • @closetnoc thanks for taking the time. The blog was launched in 2013, so the URL can't have been crawled in 2011. Still mystified as to where Google is getting the date from. Will try and hide the date using a plugin. Thanks for your help. – Chris Grundy Nov 15 '16 at 8:45
  • After some serious digging I've figured out that google is showing the publication date of the youtube video embedded on the page as the publication date for the actual page. I still don't know what the reason for this sudden change is, as this wasn't the case until a week ago. – Chris Grundy Nov 15 '16 at 11:55
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Ok, so I think I've found the answer and will just post here to maybe help someone with a similar problem in the future.

Basically, Google would not be showing a publication date in the SERPS that it plucked out of the sky. Knowing that, I checked my copy, my images and my entire html to see if the (wrong) date had crept in somewhere.

Viewing the source code didnt help me here, but I did click on the youtube video I have embedded on the page. Turns out the publication date for the embedded video on youtube is the (wrong) 22. March 2011. Therefore, Google is pulling the embedded video's publication date as the publication date for the entire page.

To combat this, I've updated my YOAST SEO plugin to include dates for landing pages, and included the correct publication date on all my landing pages (in the copy). I've fetched the sites again and re-submitted my sitemaps and hopefully the issue will be resolved in the morning. If it isn't, I'm going to replace the video with one published in more recent times.

  • I am glad you found your answer! Google has been doing some weird things lately with dates. Sometimes, G thinks it is clever when in fact, it is not always. Somethings G does an amazing job, and others you wondering what kinda drugs they are taking. Must be some wild stuff! Cheers!! – closetnoc Nov 15 '16 at 18:45
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    Thanks @closetnoc :) For anyone who wants more information on this problem and how to solve it, I wrote a blog post. cgrundy.com/solving-an-incorrect-publication-date-in-the-serps hope it comes in handy. – Chris Grundy Nov 20 '16 at 21:41
  • I up-ticked your comment to ensure it survives! Cheers!! – closetnoc Nov 21 '16 at 0:51

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