How to Remove Date Snippets from Search Results

Google and other search engines may feature dates for your site in search engine results pages – especially if it is time-sensitive content, including news articles and pages where it really makes sense. The date featured in the SERP could either be the published date or the last updated date of the page, and it would look something like this:

Depending on how recent (or fresh) your content is as well as a whole range of other factors including search intent – the presence of dates in SERPs can either increase or decrease the CTR to your site.

1 How Google Picks the Date?

We’ve received many tickets on our support forum from our users, where search engines show the published date instead of the last modified date. While the published date could be years back for a recently modified article and featuring these old dates can give the visitors an impression that the article was outdated and worst could be losing the traffic.

Google Search Central recommends showing a clear date inside the content and using structured data to help search engines pick the right date.

How Google picks date on a page

While Rank Math adds the structured data with the datePublished and dateModified properties in the correct format as recommended by Google, we request you to rely on your theme developer for any improvements with respect to the visible date.

However, adding a clear date and using structured data are only recommendations, and Google hasn’t given a definitive, single answer for how they pick a date.

As we mentioned in this knowledgebase article, Google can find the dates you published and modified an article even if you don’t use structured data or include them in the article. So we recommend you remove your dates from the locations Google checks for them.

2 Removing Dates from SERPs

2.1 Remove the Date Schema

Use the below filter to remove the datePublished and dateModified Schema properties from your website. You can refer to this knowledgebase article on adding filters to your website

add_filter( "rank_math/snippet/rich_snippet_article_entity", function( $entity ) {
  unset( $entity['dateModified'] );
  unset( $entity['datePublished'] );
  return $entity;

2.2 Remove the Open Graph Date Meta Tag

Use the below filter to remove the article:published_time, article:modified_time, and og:updated_time meta properties from the Open Graph.

add_filter( 'rank_math/opengraph/facebook/og_updated_time', '__return_false');
add_filter( 'rank_math/opengraph/facebook/article_published_time', '__return_false');
add_filter( 'rank_math/opengraph/facebook/article_modified_time', '__return_false');

2.3 Remove the Visible Date

You can contact your theme developer to remove the visible date from your content.

3 How Long Does It Take for Search Engines to Update the SERPs?

Google usually takes a week or two to update the SERPs, but if it takes longer, then it’s usual and nothing to be worried about. It takes a while for search engines to completely crawl your website, depending upon your website’s size, crawl budget, and any underlying SEO issues affecting the crawlers to reach your pages. Hence, if you’ve made the changes to exclude dates from SERPs, we request you to wait patiently for the changes to reflect.

4 Can an SEO Plugin Add/Remove Dates from SERPs?

As you might be aware by now, Google picks and shows the dates that they see in the content itself. And this is something an SEO plugin cannot control. Therefore it is not possible for Rank Math (or any other SEO plugin) to add or remove dates from search engine results pages for your website.

And that’s it! If you have absolutely any questions about removing dates from SERPs – feel free to reach out to our support team; we’re always more than happy to help.

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