I manage a website for a company that offers classroom training in a niche topic. Our training page is well optimized and ranks on page 1. The page lists our upcoming sessions. We have json-ld script for both "Course" and "Event" types. Our course registrations and payment processing is handled through Eventbrite, which also ranks well. We run ads in an online trade journal which are linked to our page which, in turn, links to the Eventbrite page. All of this ranks well.

What I have noticed for some time now is that Google's results often list the outdated / expired versions of our ads and of the Eventbrite events. For example, our current line-up consists of offerings on 12/3/19, 12/5/19, 4/7/20, 8/11/20, & 12/1/20.

Yet performing a search ("api 580 course", for example) yields results in the add from Inspectioneering and the Eventbrite event both referencing the 8/13/19 session which has over for a long time. We do get an Event widget which pops up on the right, but this lists only the 12/3/19 session, which is now sold out. Browsing additional results, there are links for competitor events which have occurred some time in the past (as far back as 2015, in some cases) are in no way relevant today.

So the question is why isn't Google current on it's SERPs? One would expect it to show the more relevant offerings - the Eventbrite links for the two upcoming offerings in 12/2019, the Inspectionerring ad for the 12/2019 session, and to maybe list all upcoming sessions in the Event widget - or at least both the 12/3/19 & 12/5/19 offerings.

I read all the time about Google constantly trying to improve the relevance of their search results. I would think that displaying current events would be part of that and shouldn't be that difficult.

  • Google doesn't use structured data (including dates in it) for ranking purposes. There are better ways of getting Google to show the correct pages. – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 20 '19 at 18:49
  • Thanks, Stephen. What "better ways" do you suggest? Also, the issue isn't just with our page as it also appears with the Eventbrite and Inspectioneering pages. I have seen this in other, completely unrelated, cases as well where Google returns out of date results when there are more current (i.e. relevant) results to present to the user. This has always baffled me. I can understand not using structured data, as it could easily be stuffed simply for SEO purposes - but what about in our Eventbrite case where there is a whole page for each session but google selects a stale page? – Steve Elmer Nov 20 '19 at 20:01
  • also, while I appreciate the rephrasing of my question - my real question IS "Why does Google yield stale results when there are clearly more current, relevant results available?" This is less about structured data, or my site in particular - it is a general question to which I have been unable to find any sort of answer for. – Steve Elmer Nov 20 '19 at 20:24
  • If that's really the case I'll have to close this question as off topic. This site is for answering questions about your website, not answering questions about how Google works in general. – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 20 '19 at 20:52
  • That's too bad, but I get it. No worries. Do you happen to know of a more appropriate SEO forum? – Steve Elmer Nov 20 '19 at 21:16

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