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We have a content blog application where we recently added two date fields: originally authored date and last updated date. The originally authored date signifies when an article is created, while the last updated date indicates when it was last modified. However, our marketing team has noticed a decrease in rankings since the implementation of these fields, especially the originally authored date which is a new addition. We're looking for suggestions on how to improve this situation and potentially boost our rankings.

Is there a chance that search engines will prioritize the older date, considering it is the first one mentioned? Below image represents our position of dates

enter image description here

2 Answers 2

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I've not seen a Google recommendation, answering the question. If anybody has please post another answer.

So; I've (anecdotal) tried both with the dateModified and without (using the same date until the page is modified) and have not seen any differences.

Additional details which I don't believe make a difference: New Site, low hanging fruit. The HTTP response header also provides the last modified date, which is generally the same except for page coding changes. The publish date agrees with the date it first appeared on the site.

I also have pages that don't use the NewsArticle schema. I use the schema only on newsy pages. The site is to new to evaluate if modifying the content after a year with a new modified date has an effect. It will be about a year for me to be able to test that.

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "NewsArticle",
  "headline": "HTTP/3 server options 2023",
  "datePublished": "2023-06-27T13:20:00-08:00",
  "dateModified":  "2023-06-27T13:20:00-08:00"
}
</script>

And yes the date appears as text on the page.

<time datetime="2023-06-27">Published: 6-27-2023</time>

Additional note about reviewing changes,

there has been a lot of volatility in search recently.


enter image description here

Regarding which Date Google Shows

Google shows, (when they want), the publish date. But if they have reason to believe the content was published on a different date will use their indexed date instead.

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And what date does it show in snippet now? I really dont think that creating "last update" feature could make really big changes in ranking. However, this problem could happen in case you forgot to update schema.org and XML-sitemap.

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