Unable To Find The Published Date Of A Web Page? Here Are 6 Hacks To See It

Normally articles get published along with dates or specification regarding last updated. This is usually done in order to let users know about how valid the content remains in times to come. It even comes handy for all the webmasters and web researchers — particularly those who analyze fake news and misinformation campaigns — and want a detailed record of some blog posts - especially when they are time bound.

However, at the same time you will also see a number of websites that don’t put out the published date. Hence, if you’re eager to check the validity and authenticity of content through this, we have got you covered with 6 ways that can help you in finding the published date of your selected website.

1. Scan The Web Page

How to Find The Original Published Date of a Website

Published date is one of the most essential data that even stands mandatory in order to create a web page. It is an utmost requirement of search engines as well who use published date for search results as well. Hence, if you carefully scan through the web page, you will see a lot of website owners mention published date as a part of metadata (mostly under the blog post title or sometimes at the end of the body). But for others who think their design is different, some even choose to show published date right below the article.

2. Analyzing URL Structure

How to Find The Approximately Published Date of a Website or Blog

Modern content management systems have given the authority to admins to modify the way they want to show the URL of their web page. However a more structured way of creating URL includes month and year which can assist you in identifying the published date. For instance, the URL could be – https://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2018/07/psychology-of-social-media-infographic.html in which one can easily see that the article was published on July 2018.

3. XML Sitemap

You can always hop onto the XML Sitemap e.g “https://www.wired.com/sitemap.xml”. Here you have to make sure that you are actually finding published date for a web page that has not been updated. In the later scenario, you will replace published date with last modified date, However this method is only practical when a blog or website have a limited number of blog post or content.

4. Source Code

Unable To Find The Exact Published Date Of A Website? Here Are 6 Alternative Ways To Search It

You can check the source of web page by doing right click and search out for header section between <head> </head> tags. There is a high probability that the <meta> tag might show you published or last modified. Try searching keyword dateModifieddateModified or modified time by pressing Ctrl or Command + F in a web page's source section to find the publication date. This is because the date is always a part of HTTP header data of a web page. You can also navigate to HTTP header checker tool.

5. Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Internet Archive is like a library of all publicly available web pages. All you need to do is look out for a web page and then find the first indexed screenshot, which is usually closer to the published date.

6. Google Search

If you’re still not able to find the published date with all the tricks above, then Google can be your only savior here. Google usually first index the date to show it in its search result. As the process occurs within just a few hours on the same day, one can easily trust that the “indexed date” will actually be the published date. Here is how you can find the indexed date

Step 1 – Log onto Google.com and enter the link you want to know the date for, in the search box, with inurl: operator, e.g: inurl:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_of_difference.

Step 2 – Once done, move back to the address bar of the browser and type in &as_qdr=y15 at the end of the URL. Hit enter! Your search bar result will look something like this: https://www.google.com/search?q=inurl:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_of_difference&as_qdr=y15

Step 3 – The search results will be the same but there is a slight noticeable difference as the date of indexing before meta description is the approximate published date of a web page which you can choose. Make sure you follow the same URL pattern (mentioned above) because sometimes Chrome and other browsers may mess up with your address bar results.

Here's How To Find the Date When a Web Page was First Published on the Internet, Search Engines or Google

Besides that, make sure that if the article was updated, then Google repeats the procedure of re-index and dates shown in the result will serve as the last update date.


Sometimes, none of the above mentioned methods are going to work when you are looking for an exact published/live date of a web or resource page from a website, luckily there's still one more way to find that, particularly if it's a blog post. For that, all you need is just to search a link on social media platforms, particularly on Twitter, LinkedIn, Threads, Pinterest and Facebook. E.G.: I'm unable to find when this page (https://www.goodfirms.co/resources/paid-marketing-challenges-market-tips-future) was created so I simply pasted this in Facebook Search bar (while I was logged in) and I found someone has already shared it in their timeline publicly on 26 November 2022, while performing the same search on Twitter I found a user has shared the link on 15th November 2022, which gives me the idea that the URL that I pasted has been probably published in either first or second week of November 2022. Which kind of gives me what I've been looking for.

This post has been updated on: 24th February 2024.

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