How to Remove Date From Google Search Results in a WordPress Site

Remove Date From Google Search Results
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One of the most common questions asked after my article on recover from Google panda is how we can remove the date from Google Search results. Before I share the solution to this, let me explain what conditions you should, and why it’s important to remove the date from blog posts.

January 2020 update: Rather than removing dates, you could show modified date. However, do not explot this technique as Google has stopped showing dates from SERP’s for the posts which are just updating the modified time without making any changes to the content. Limit modified date is a free WordPress plugin that let you update the post but not update the modified date.

August 2019 update: Here is a free WordPress plugin to hide date from the theme.

Google has added lots of new features in Google search, like Knowledge graph, Star rating and many more. Overall, now your search engine position is not the only criteria to get traffic, but other factors also contribute to getting more clicks from search results. I have already explained in detailed about this earlier, and if you have missed it, you can read how to increase CTR from Google search.

  • How to rank#one n Google Search: Matt Cutts Video

After Google Panda updates, one thing which is most common about blogs penalized by Panda is, they are showing dates in SERP description. And, this has mostly happened to old blogs, who are publishing from years. One simple reason for the same is, old dates in blog post decreased down the CTR of the post.

For example, if you search for anything like “Best WordPress plugins for SEO“, and you see results dated with 2014, 2016, and 2019. You are more likely to ignore the first two and click on the results to the latest date.

In the similar scenario, if an article is there without any date, it will get the benefit of doubt and hence more click compare to article dated 2008 & 2010. This is no rocket-science, and you can clearly notice this from your search pattern.

For example, let’s see a result for a similar search query here:

remove date from SERPs
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You could see results from 2009-2015, and ask yourself which result you are more likely to click on. Despite having a big name like Mashable and Six Revisions, I would prefer clicking on one with the most recent date or one with author picture (Trust factor). Now, let’s take another example:

No date in Search result
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In this example, battle to get more click is between post with no date, and post dated 2010. Which result you are more likely to click on?

How to Remove Date Stamp from Google SERP Description

Above examples are just to prove the point that removing date stamp from your search description will be helpful to get more CTR. Now, there is one big catch about removing dates is; you need to have a Website with evergreen content. If you are running a news site, where dates play an important role for good user experience, this technique may backfire on you, and you will be seen as a bad user experience. So, before you use below given solution, make sure you know what you are doing.

Use this free plugin to hide date from WordPress theme.

Another plugin which is little outdated & doesn’t work with all the theme, but as it’s free you should try it, & it’s call  Date exclusion SEO. It helps you to remove the date from SERP’s. The best thing about this plugin is; it gives few option, which will be very helpful. Though it’s an outdated plugin, but I tried with WordPress 4.1+ for one of my client sites, and it worked without any issue. <Plugin link>

Once you have installed date exclusion SEO plugin, you can configure the settings under Settings > date exclusion SEO, and make few changes to make this plugin work for your blog. One of the best thing about this plugin is; you can select to remove the date from posts older than x days. This will ensure, your latest content will have dates, and you can remove the date stamp from only older posts. It’s a better idea to remove dates from last year content, and for all latest content (ex: 2013 posts), let the date remain intact.

Date exclusion SEO WordPress plugin
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Once you have set up this plugin, go to Google rich snippet testing tool and preview your old content. This will confirm you if the plugin is working or not.

If you wish to show date to your readers and hide it from Google SERP’s only, you can follow this handy tutorial, on hiding datE using Javascript.

Note: I don’t recommend hiding date, rather show last updated time. 

Also check out:

Personally, I don’t like the idea of removing the date from posts, as it gives a bad user-experience but at times to beat the Panda animal out of your blog, it becomes necessary.

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

54 thoughts on “How to Remove Date From Google Search Results in a WordPress Site”

  1. Jitendra Mahato

    Thank you, my friend. I am not searching plugin but code for that. I am using Genissis them in blog. I think it will better to use code for the remove date from the snippet. I came here to get the code but anyway it’s good tips indeed. Thank you again.

  2. Peter

    Thanks for the tips. I really struggled trying to remove the date from the search results before I finally arrived here

  3. Hi, thank you for this post. I tried Date Exclusion SEO and it worked. However, it also strip out the Title of my post. May I know if there is a work around for this?

    Now I am trying to use code instead to remove the date. May I know from the Google rich snippet testing tool, how do we know if we have successfully strip off the date?

    Thank you and look forward to your reply.

    1. Michael Krieger

      Load the page in the structured data testing tool. You will find a ‘hentry’, which is your blog post entity. You’ll notice ‘updated’ and/or ‘published’ dates. Updated is required to pass structured data validation, so do not remove it. It shows the published date on SERP, if any.

      This comes from HTML like … in your blog. published and updated can be the same (a new post).

      Just remove the word ‘published’ in the time classes and it won’t show a date in serp. Updated is still fine. You can find this in your theme for posts or pages (or in a functions file if it calls it via a function).

      As a hint, I have this logic:
      * If it’s a page, show only updated
      * If it’s a post
      -> published within the last 120 days, show the published and updated respectively
      -> published over 120 days, show only the updated

      This way, new posts look relevant (increasing click-through rate) but old posts don’t look irrelevant (and thus avoids decreasing the click through rate)

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