Google: We Either Trusts Or Doesn't Trust Your Sitemap's Lastmod Date

Jun 11, 2024 - 7:31 am 1 by

Google Date Stamp

Now that Google is encouraging publishers to use proper lastmod dates in their sitemap files, what happens if your lastmod date is incorrect and shows the wrong date. Gary Illyes from Google said either Google trusts your lastmod date or doesn't, there is no in between.

As a reminder, Google (and Bing) recommended sites upgrade to WordPress 6.5 in order to get the automatic lastmod date in your XML sitemap. Gary also added that despite Google ignorning the lastmod date previously, he added, "surprisingly things may change given enough time," meaning, this is no longer the case.

Gary Illyes said on LinkedIn yesterday that Google "either trust it or not" when it comes to the lastmod date.

Mark Williams-Cook asked Gary:

I guess Google is making its own judgments about how often to crawl without xml sitemap. If I’m specifying lastmod and Google’s signals consistently find I haven’t made significant changes, do you have any kind of reputation system to decide “how much” to trust what a site tells you, or is it just taken as a weighted signal? Please, Gary, I need to know the answer to this for my family Xmas quiz this year. TIA.

Gary Illyes responded:

it's binary, or at least was last time I checked. we either trust it or not.

Mark had an interesting observation based on the Google search API leak:

Forumd discussion at LinkedIn.


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