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February 9, 2008

Google Shows the Indexing Date for Each Search Result

If you use Google's advanced options to restrict the search results to a certain period of time, you'll find that Google shows the date when each web page has been first indexed (in many cases, this is a good approximation of the date when a web page has been created).


As previously mentioned, you can edit Google's URL to customize how fresh the search results should be. For example, if you append &as_qdr=y9 to Google's search URL, you'll restrict the results to web pages first indexed by Google in the last 9 years. Since this restriction should include all web pages from Google's index, you can use it to display the timestamp next to each search result (e.g.: a search for iPod).

Maybe in the future Google will display the date next to each search result, it will try to approximate the date when a page has been created, allow users to filter results from certain periods and sort the results by date.

14 comments:

  1. It looks like the date has more to do with the last time the page has been crawled, not the first time. Maybe if the page never changes, it doesn't bother crawling or indexing it again. For dynamic pages, the dates will always be fairly recent.

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  2. Are you sure that date is the date it was *first* indexed or *last* refreshed?

    I did a simple site:http://reading.kingrat.biz search and added the parameter on at the end.

    I'm pretty certain Google first indexed my home page before Feb 3, 2008. It seems more likely it's the last time Google refreshed the page in it's index.

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  3. "Maybe in the future Google will ... allow users to ... sort the results by date."

    I doubt it - they won't even let you see news with 'sort by date' as a default, though it's grindingly obviously sensible. They're date-challenged.

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  4. Well, it seems that if you use the site: operator without any keyword, Google shows the last indexing date. For all other queries, you'll see the date when the page was first indexed.

    Example:
    * a standard search
    * a site: search

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  5. It must be new. Google only showed the date next to fresh results.

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  6. I did some more testing, but the system has flaws. I checked on the name of one of our companies, and Google gave as date somewhere 2003, while the domain was registered in 2005. See my blogpost about this. (in Dutch, but it's fairly translated with Google Translate though): http://www.roodlicht.com/bug-in-googles-advanced-search.htm

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  7. @Rick: The date for my homepage is incorrect also. But the others are correct.

    I did a site: search with the keyword "&" behind it. That shows just as much pages as with a normal site: search, but then with first dates.

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  8. One of my websites has been created in January 2003, the domain name then changed and was registred in December 2004.
    Google shows, for this "new" domain name : 30 Jun 2002...

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  9. I've noticed that a lot of results initially indexed with a timestamp next to them eventually lose that timestamp as they age, but some pages seem to retain it.

    Anyone else noticed this?

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  10. I think the date is the date was first indexed,not last refresed or crawled, and will stay there forever. I did some testing, I delete an article, later I put it back the same article with the same keyword. Couple weeks later the date when the page was first indexed still there.
    http://www.house-interior.com/

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  11. I think Google has a fine line to walk. Google needs to be known as simple to use- it is part of their marketing pitch.

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  12. The date Google shows is the date of the last time its spider visited the page.For me, real time search means finding a particular type of “real time” content. I’d like to see them consolidate and be more consistent.

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  13. I would love to remove the indexing that from the searh result.because sometimes this extra date field can be a bit annoying. Anybody can help?

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