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Incorrectly Dated Google News Link Doing Damage


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5 replies to this topic

#1 ttwblb

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 03:26 PM

Well here's a weird one. I'm searching news.Google.com for stories about an SEO client. I see a headline saying my client has declared bankruptcy. That's news to me! The article date is shown in Google news as ‎Jul 31, 2009‎. I click the link and go to a news story at www.lightreading.com that is correctly dated June 17, 2002 (over seven years earlier than the date in Google news).

I know my client did not declare bankruptcy 4 days ago. The Google news link is showing the wrong date and I have no idea why or where they got that date from. Does anyone have a suggestion as to how I can get Google to fix the date they are showing? The date is obviously wrong, but it has the potential to inflict some PR damage on my client.

Thanks.

Edited by ttwblb, 04 August 2009 - 05:03 PM.


#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 05:19 PM

I cannot explain what you see for your client, but the last few times I came across situations like that it turned out there were two dates on the pages in question and in each case Google News seemed to be picking up the refresh date rather than the article date.

#3 ttwblb

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 08:42 PM

Michael, you make a good point, and I can see how that could happen and Google could get confused about the publication date of the article. In this case I re-checked the article page and could not find any evidence of any 2009 dates. So I don't think that is the explanation in this case.

Thanks,

Barry

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Aug 4 2009, 03:19 PM) View Post
I cannot explain what you see for your client, but the last few times I came across situations like that it turned out there were two dates on the pages in question and in each case Google News seemed to be picking up the refresh date rather than the article date.



#4 Randy

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:03 PM

I'm wondering if the other site is providing a News Feed that has incorrect dates. If so, I doubt it's only happening with one news item, so will take someone investigating it from Google's end of things to see why it's happening and either fix it or start distrusting the other site's news feed if they're up to something funny.

Your best bet is probably to post something over on the Google Group for Google News. Or report it to them privately. There are links to both on this Google News help page.

#5 Michael Martinez

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 01:03 PM

One other possibility (which I deem unlikely but you never know what a code change can do in software) is that they picked up a date from the featured stories list.

This sounds like a bizarre issue.

#6 portentint

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 02:48 PM

Does the site have an XML sitemap? Any chance the dates in that got messed up?

Also, check the metadata. If there's a date meta tag, that MIGHT be an issue. It's a long shot, but might as well check every avenue.




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