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BIG PROBLEM:Some Niche Sites Not Showing Date Correctly in SERPS

  1. EricDockett profile image95
    EricDockettposted 3 weeks ago

    Today I noticed that some of the niche sites are not always showing the updated dates in the SERPS. I've seen this specifically with Spinditty, Exemplore and Pethelpful. Instead it is showing a much earlier date, and not necessarily even the publication date.

    If fact, at least one of my Hubs is showing a date in the SERPS from before I even joined HubPages! What goes on here?

    This is bad. People are less likely to click through on articles that look old and ignored, and it will eventually lead to a drop in the SERPS for these articles if it hasn't already. Google may already be re-indexing articles it is identifying as old and out-of-date.

    I'm wondering if this, not just the election, has led to some of the traffic drop over the past few days.

    I hope somebody on the HP engineering team is awake on a Sunday. This is potentially a major problem.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 3 weeks ago in reply to this

      This sounds like a computer glitch.  Notify the team asap...they need to see this.  It's a very big problem due to copyright issues, etc.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 3 weeks ago in reply to this

        If you read the description of this forum, that's exactly what this forum is supposed to be for - to report problems.

        They don't want individuals emails from every single Hubber about this.

        There is no one in the office on a Sunday.

        1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 3 weeks ago in reply to this

          I wasn't aware of that.  Never did understand the forum descriptions...I was just trying to advise the OP, since he brought this up, to email the team.  I was not advising everybody to do so...just him!

          1. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 3 weeks ago in reply to this

            Yes, but others reading your advice could think that was the right thing to do. 

            The description of this forum is pretty clear.  It says:

            "Have you noticed a bug on HubPages? Please report it in this staff-monitored forum."

            1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
              TIMETRAVELER2posted 3 weeks ago in reply to this

              Got it.

      2. EricDockett profile image95
        EricDockettposted 3 weeks ago in reply to this

        As Marisa said, posting in this forum is notifying the Team.

        I didn't think about the copyright aspect. Depending on what exactly is going on here, Google may begin to see stolen Hubs as originals. No good at all.

    2. Christy Kirwan profile image
      91
      Christy Kirwanposted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

      Can anyone provide examples of articles this is happening with? Screenshots of what you're seeing in SERPs would be really helpful for us as well.

      1. DrMark1961 profile image91
        DrMark1961posted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

        If you will look on my post above, you will find an example of this from Pethelpful.

      2. EricDockett profile image95
        EricDockettposted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

        Thank you, Christy. I could give you dozens but here are three:

        https://pethelpful.com/fish-aquariums/B … plies-List (shows date of Mar 21, 2012 in SERPS. Was published 1/29/15 and last updated 5/1/16)

        https://pethelpful.com/fish-aquariums/B … Small-Tank (shows date of Dec 20. 2011 in SERPs. Was published 12/29/13 and last updated on 05/26/15.

        https://pethelpful.com/fish-aquariums/S … l-Aquarium (Shows date of Nov 19, 2010 in SERPs. Was published 03/04/13 and last updated 12/07/15)

        This seems to be happening irrespective of HP account, niche site or search engine, from what I can tell.

        1. Christy Kirwan profile image
          91
          Christy Kirwanposted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

          Thank you. Would you be able to provide a screenshot of what you're seeing in the Google results as well? It should help our engineers track down what the issue is. Thanks for the report and for helping us gather info.

      3. incomeguru profile image86
        incomeguruposted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

        http://usercontent1.hubstatic.com/13277786_f248.jpg

        I published this hub last week Friday.

  2. EricDockett profile image95
    EricDockettposted 3 weeks ago

    Update: This is occurring with HP Hubs as well, not just niche sites. I've seen a few instance now where the date seems to be taken from out of left field, sometimes several years before the Hub was actually published.

    Seriously, nobody else is seeing this?

  3. DrMark1961 profile image91
    DrMark1961posted 3 weeks ago

    This is the first one I even checked:
    How to Breed Your Female Dog Successfully | PetHelpful
    https://pethelpful.com › Dogs › Dog Mating & Pregnancy
    Feb 7, 2008
    I did not join HP until 2012, so did not write it in 2008. Not sure how they are coming up with that date.

  4. incomeguru profile image86
    incomeguruposted 3 weeks ago

    This issue should be urgently addressed. The hub that i published 3 days ago now showing Apr 20, 2012. I checked to see the hub ranking, and i found that it has dropped in ranking more than i could imagine.

  5. EricDockett profile image95
    EricDockettposted 3 weeks ago

    My scientific method may not be the greatest but there does seem to be a very direct correlation between the date is not displaying correctly and lost traffic.

    My overall traffic is down by several thousand views across all my accounts. Some Hubs aren't impacted at all, and those seem to be displaying the right date for the most part.

    It sure would be super if HP staff could pop into this thread and at least let us know they are aware of the situation and working on it.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 3 weeks ago in reply to this

      Your comment begs the question:  Are they monitoring this forum or not and, if so, how often.  Perhaps my suggestion to contact them wasn't so out of line, anyhow!

      1. EricDockett profile image95
        EricDockettposted 3 weeks ago in reply to this

        I didn't think your suggestion was out of line. I was just trying to following the procedure HP has set up for reporting problems.

        I have sent an email to the Team now.  I have done all I can do, I guess.

  6. Paul Edmondson profile image
    89
    Paul Edmondsonposted 2 weeks ago

    I believe this is a google bug. We are looking at it and I'll notify google as well. Thanks for posting these examples.

  7. Paul Edmondson profile image
    89
    Paul Edmondsonposted 2 weeks ago

    I looked at this just for a second, but it looks like google is pulling the date to show in the serps based on the date of the YouTube video. 

    I sent instructions to google to reproduce it. 

    Thanks again for showing the examples.

    1. EricDockett profile image95
      EricDockettposted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

      Thanks for looking into this, Paul. It does seem to be occurring with other search engines too. Not just Google.

      For example, Ask shows dates and they are the same wrong dates. That makes me wonder if there is something weird with the data HP is showing crawlers. Is that possible?

    2. EricDockett profile image95
      EricDockettposted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

      I see what you mean about the YouTube videos, but it seems to be happening to some Hubs with videos and not others. Very strange.

      Hope Google gets back to you soon and this gets straightened out. Traffic seems to be coming back a little today, but still down from where I'd expect it to be.

  8. Paul Edmondson profile image
    89
    Paul Edmondsonposted 2 weeks ago

    I think ask syndicates google so it would make sense they both have the issue. I found another site with the same issue as well. Pretty sure this one is on google.

    1. EricDockett profile image95
      EricDockettposted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

      Also of note: Bing is displaying "Video Embedded" as the first text in their search results for many Hubs. That seems odd too.

  9. Paul Edmondson profile image
    89
    Paul Edmondsonposted 2 weeks ago

    Google acknowledged it. They have multiple reports, so we aren't the only ones impacted. They usually fix things like this relatively quickly.

    We've been following a few strange things going on that looks like bugs. It's possible that it's some sort of update, but I'm not convinced.

    Traffic has been a bit soft since the election, but in general rankings look good. I'm hoping it's a bug that gets fixed and for folks impacted, they see their traffic come back.

    1. EricDockett profile image95
      EricDockettposted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

      There is a post on Search Engine Land about this today.

      http://searchengineland.com/google-snippets-bug-263460

      They say it isn't hurting search ranking, I have to think in the long-term it surely will.  An article will eventually drop in ranking if fewer people are clicking through because it looks old.

      Hopefully there is no "long term" and things get back to normal soon. I guess all we can do is wait.

  10. Paul Edmondson profile image
    89
    Paul Edmondsonposted 2 weeks ago

    The bug was just fixed. My guess is it will take a few days to update everything. I can see a few articles with the date corrected already.

    1. EricDockett profile image95
      EricDockettposted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

      That's really good news! Thanks Paul!

    2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

      Thanks Paul.   It may be a coincidence, but I noticed today that my views went back up again.  Perhaps it is because of what you did.  Either way, I appreciate your efforts on our behalf.

  11. Paul Edmondson profile image
    89
    Paul Edmondsonposted 2 weeks ago

    I suspect it will take a few days, but traffic is trending up from last week. Hard to know how much traffic was impacted by the election, date bug, and the unconfirmed google update.

    We see ranking were actually slightly improved last week, so I'm optimistic that when the date bug is processed, we will see an increase.

    1. kbdressman profile image93
      kbdressmanposted 2 weeks ago in reply to this

      Thanks for checking for us and for keeping us updated, Paul!

  12. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image92
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 2 weeks ago

    Paul - (and Christy) thank you for looking into this so promptly - I'm glad someone noticed it and posted the issue here! 

    I hope traffic recovers quickly - I've noticed sagging numbers, too. Meanwhile, I am still loving the niche sites - they've made a huge difference in things!

 
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