When asked if there are any SEO benefits to adding dates in webpage title tags, here’s what Google had to say about it.

Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller had addressed whether including publishing dates in webpage title tags has any impact when SEO is concerned. This topic was discussed during a recent Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout.

An SEO professional, who’s working on a website that reports on currencies, asked Mueller if he should include dates in titles when writing articles about changes in currency values.

Here’s what Mueller said about dates in title tags.

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Is Putting Dates In Title Tags Good For SEO?

Mueller said that you can put dates in title tags if you wish to, though it doesn’t change anything for SEO.

Though it may make more sense to use dates in titles for news articles, Google has other ways to figure out the publishing date.

Mueller’s comments were as below:

“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.”

The person who had asked the question also clarified that they’re not just changing the title tag, but are creating and publishing a new article every day.

Mueller initially misunderstood and thought that the articles are being automatically generated every day, which lead him to say:

“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 you’re automatically generating these pages on a daily basis for all of the currencies…”

And later it became clearer to Mueller that the articles are not being generated automatically. The person asking the question had intended that a new article is being manually created and published every day to report on changes to currency values, with context on why the value went up or down.

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Mueller said that, in that case, a date in the title would be acceptable since it’s the equivalent of a news article.

“From my point of view, 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.”

So as per Mueller’s comments, adding dates in titles doesn’t positively or negatively impact SEO. If you personally believe it will be beneficial to searchers to see a date in the page title, then you may add it.

Yet another key takeaway is that it only makes sense and is essential to include dates when something new is being published, or when a significant change has been made to the content.

Mueller had also advised as much on Twitter on 5th February 2022:

“When you write something new, or significantly change something existing, then change the date. Changing the date without doing anything else is just noise & useless.”

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To Summarise 

Using dates in titles has no good or bad influence on SEO. If you strongly feel that including a date in the page title may benefit your webpage searchers, then, you may do it.  Also bear in mind that dates should only be used when anything new is being published or only when there has been a major change to the content. 

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The W3C is the World Wide Web Consortium and was founded by the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. It creates coding specifications for web standards worldwide and also offers a validator service to ensure that your HTML is valid and error-free.

Making sure that your page validates is an important thing in order to achieve cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility and provide an accessible online experience to all. Unsure about how to deal with it? Do contact our SEO agency in Kochi.

Invalid code results in glitches, rendering errors, and long processing or loading times, meaning, if your code doesn’t do what it was intended to do across all major web browsers, this can negatively impact user experience and SEO.

 

A look into how W3C Validation Works and Supports SEO

Web standards are essential as they give web developers a standard set of rules for writing code. It will be much easier for you to maintain and update the code in the future if all code used by your company is created using the same protocols.

This is important when working with other people’s code because if your pages adhere to web standards, they will validate correctly against W3C validation tools.

When web standards are used as the basis for your code creation, you can be assured that your code is user-friendly with built-in accessibility.

With SEO, validated code is always better than poorly written code.

According to John Mueller, Google doesn’t care how your code is written, meaning a W3C validation error won’t cause your rankings to drop.

And you won’t rank better with validated code, either. But there are indirect SEO benefits to well-formatted markup:

Eliminates Code Bloat:

Validating code helps to avoid code bloat. Validated code is generally leaner, better, and more compact than its counterpart.

Faster Rendering Times:

As the browser needs less processing, and we know that page speed is a ranking factor, you’ll have lesser rendering times.

Indirect Contributions to Core Web Vitals Scores:

When coding standards are paid attention to, such as adding the width and height attribute to your images, it eliminates steps that the browser must take to render the page. Faster rendering times contribute to your Core Web Vitals scores, improving these important metrics overall.

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How does W3C Validation Work?

The W3C validator is this author’s validator of choice that makes sure that your code validates across a wide variety of platforms and systems.

The W3C validator is free to use and with it, it’s possible to validate your pages by page URL, file upload, and Direct Input.

Validate Your Pages by URL:

This is simple and can be done by just copying and pasting the URL into the Address field, and clicking on the check button to validate your code.

Validate Your Pages by File Upload:

Through this process, you will upload the HTML files of your choice one file at a time. But if you’re using Internet Explorer or certain versions of Windows XP, this option may not work for you.

Validate Your Pages by Direct Input:

Here, all you have to do is copy and paste the code you want to validate into the editor, and the W3C validator will do the rest.

 

Common Validation Errors That Can Occur

It is essential to be aware of the most common validation errors as you go through the validation process.

Hence, if your page does not validate, you will know exactly where to start looking for possible problems.

Some of the most common validation errors include:

Type Mismatch:

This happens when your code is trying to make one kind of data object appear like another data object, you run the risk of getting this message. This error signals that some kind of coding mistake has been made and the solution would be to figure out exactly where that mistake was made and fix it so that the code validates successfully.

Parse Error:

This error indicates that there was a mistake in the coding somewhere. But you can’t know where that mistake is. So, if this happens, you will have to do some serious sleuthing to find where your code went wrong.

Syntax Errors:

These types of errors involve careless mistakes in coding syntax. For instance, either the syntax is typed incorrectly, or its context is incorrect. Either way, these errors will show up in the W3C validator.

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Final Words

Sometimes validation doesn’t happen as planned and according to all standards.

But there is more than one way to accomplish the same goal. Though validation, on the whole, can help you immensely, it is not always going to be 100% complete.

Hence it’s important to familiarize yourself by coding with the validator as much as you can.

Some adaptation will be required and it takes experience to achieve the best possible cross-platform compatibility while also remaining compliant with today’s browsers.

The ultimate goal should be to improve accessibility and achieve compatibility with all browsers, operating systems, and devices.

Getting in touch with our digital marketing agency in Kochi will help you in this regard. Contact us for more information.

We will always ensure that your code validates, making sure that your site is as safe, accessible, and efficient as possible.