Google sometimes uses post dates for its Google snippets for blogs. Yes, its been around for a while, but I had thought that Google was just creating a snippet because I had no meta descriptions. I saw a comment come though on my blog, and decided to check how the visitor had got there.

The date happens to also have the following html markup Jul 21, 2007

And the meta description: How to install cPanel Freetype2. Installation required for captcha forms and where GD graphics uses fonts. Freetype2 VPS/dedicated server cPanel/WHM installs

Now that is rather fancy, and means I need to rethink how I do my blog meta descriptions so as to not have the “…” through the snippet. Maybe I need to start actually including the date in the meta description so as to exclude the waste of characters “ …”. Normally I create snippets with the rule - 155 characters that include the search phrase. Now it may need to be - 155 characters including the search phrase, and post date.

So how can it tell that its an article that is dated? Well, there is an rss feed. Maybe its including based on/because a date exists for the blog post?

So a little experiment with this post. I have included the date in the meta description (below). Google should be wise enough to not have that date twice.

26 May 2008 - Google is using not only the meta description for blog snippets, but also using the post dates. So what is the best formula for blog metas?

I wonder whether articles that are not rss feeds have the date included as well?

And yes, I have now seen this happen on a number of the posts on my blog. Rather interesting! SEO is certainly an ongoing learning and experimentation process.