Byline Schema, Publish Date Semantics, and E-E-A-T

-- by Wayne Smith

Google refers to the published date snippet in the page's link and description as a byline date, although many refer to the byline as the link to the author's information. Often these are the same. However, the author information is what ties into E-E-A-T and the date is the snippet used as a rich search feature.

Byline and page date information are important for search engines to understand the relevance and freshness of web content. While search engines have evolved in their ability to detect and display accurate byline and page date information, there are still some challenges and best practices to consider for signaling this information to search engines. In theory just placing the date on the page should be enough.

Semantics time tag

The time tag is intended for date and time and should be used

Schema Dates

If the page is referring to many things, it can become ambiguous as to whether the date is the published date or the modified date for the article?

The record or schema type would be any type of webpage -- { "@type" : ["WebPage", "Article", "Review", "QAPage", ]} or creative work, { "@type" : ["SheetMusic", "Map", "SoftwareApplication" ]}. The type used speaks to the content organization not the byline itself.

Schema and E-E-A-T

In the real world Authors, Organizations, and Publishers gain experience and authority by publishing materials.

Google began attempts to match this in the virtual world with Google+ and allow authors to get a profile snippet with web pages they created.

@schema provides a method to signal who gets the credit in the virtual world. All creative works have both an author and a publisher property/field. The values here should be confirmed by what is on the page. Does the name of the author have a link to what is being used as his/her profile page? Does the name of the organization or site have a link with its name to what is considered its main page?