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How to Easily Find the Published Date of Any Online Article

Have you ever found an interesting article online and wondered when it was published? It’s a common situation. 

Sometimes, you can easily find the published date at the top or bottom of the page. But what if it’s not there? Don’t worry; there are still ways to find out.

In this knowledgebase article, we’ll explore simple and effective methods to find when an online article was published. Whether you’re researching, fact-checking, or just curious about when an article was written, these techniques will be helpful to you.

How to Find When an Online Article Was Published

These are methods for determining when an article is published online:

1 Check the Article’s Byline

The first and easiest way to find an article’s published date is to check the byline. Many websites, especially news outlets and blogs, display the date prominently near the author’s name. 

This is often located at the beginning of the article, typically next to the title. Here’s an example:

An articles publication date on the author's card

Sometimes, the date might appear at the article’s very end, near the author’s bio. Here’s another example:

An article'es publication date displayed after the article

2 Examine the Article’s URL

Sometimes, the published date is cleverly hidden within the article’s URL. Many websites structure their content by date, so you might see something like this:


In this example, the date (2024/05/29) reveals the article’s published date: May 29, 2024. Look for similar date structures within website URLs, too.

For instance, this article from The Verge likely reveals its published date within its URL. 

Find when an article is published from the URL

Just by examining the URL, you can easily pinpoint when the article was published.

3 Explore the Website

Many websites list recently published articles on their homepage. If the article is recent, you might find it listed with its published date.

find article dates on homepages

Additionally, if the website has a dedicated category or archive section for articles, you can often find the specific article listed with its published date. 

determine article dates from archives or categories

Some websites even allow you to filter articles by date range within the archive. This feature can be particularly useful for narrowing down the published period.

4 Check the Source Code

If you’re comfortable with some technical exploration, checking the page’s source code can reveal the published date, even when it’s not readily displayed on the page itself.

To access the source code, simply open the webpage containing the article of interest. Right-click anywhere on the page and select either the ‘View page source’ or ‘Inspect’ option from the context menu.

view article page source

Let’s say you choose the ‘View Page Source’ option. This will open the developer tools window, displaying the page’s underlying code. From there, you can navigate through the nested elements to locate the article content within the code, depending on the website’s structure.

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + F (Windows) or Command + F (Mac) to open a search bar in most browsers. 

Then, type keywords like “date” or “published” to find the relevant section highlighting the article’s published and update dates, as shown below.

an article page source

But if you opted for the ‘Inspect’ option instead, the developer tools window will typically display the rendered webpage on one side and the underlying code on the other. 

Then, you can still use the aforementioned keyboard shortcut to search for keywords like “published,” which will reveal the article’s published date and update dates within the code, as illustrated below.

Inspecting an article

5 Use Search Engines Like Google

Search engines like Google can also assist you in finding an article’s published date. Sometimes, the search results page displays the date when the article was indexed.

Google search results with article dates

Alternatively, you can leverage Google’s Advanced Search feature. On the search results page, click the ‘Tools’ option, then select ‘Advanced Search,’ as shown below.

leveraging Google's Advanced Search tool

This will open the Advanced Search page. Scroll down to the ‘Then narrow your results by…’ section and choose your preferred ‘Last Update’ time range. Finally, click the Advanced Search button below.

configuring Google's Advanced Search tool

Google will then display results based on the last update option you selected, as depicted below.

Google displays results based on when the article is indexed

6 Explore Archive Services

The Wayback Machine, a project by the Internet Archive, is an invaluable resource for finding archived versions of webpages. It acts as a giant digital library, capturing snapshots of websites at various points in time.

To use this tool, go to the Wayback Machine in your web browser. In the search bar on the Wayback Machine homepage, paste the article URL you’re interested in.

the wayback machine homepage

If the Wayback Machine has archived the webpage, it will display the last time the article was crawled. You’ll also see a calendar interface showing dates along a timeline when snapshots of the webpage were captured.

The wayback machine shows when an article was published

The date displayed represents when the Wayback Machine captured that snapshot, but it is not necessarily the exact published date of the article. However, it can still provide a good idea of when the article was published, especially if it’s a new article.

By following these methods, you can usually determine when an article is published, ensuring the information you use is timely and relevant.

We hope this guide has helped you learn how to find when an article was published online. If you have any questions about Rank Math, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team—they’re available to assist you anytime.

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