How to Find Out When a Webpage Was Published?

Find When A Website Was First Published
Find When A Website Was First Published

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When you are looking for information on the internet, you search for the topic and browse different web pages. During the research, web page’s published date is really important. It helps you understand if the information is old or new. Blog articles mostly have published or last updated date, but what if there is no date listed on the page. You get no way to find out when the web page was published. Even if there is an Updated date, it makes no sense if you want to know when the web page was actually published. In this article, I will tell you a few ways you can use to find out when the web page was published on the Internet.

1. Check URL structure

Most of the blogs have month and year on the URL. Even if the web page shows the last update date, the URL will remain the same to reflect the month and year of when the article was published. For example, see this Techcrunch article’s URL. There is the exact date, month, and year.

Find Out When a Webpage Was Published

In many cases, URL structure easily reveals the date when the web page was first published.

Not all websites or blogs follow this URL structure. So, this method won’t work in many cases. If you cannot see the published date, month, or year on the URL, check other methods.

2. Check Article Schema

Most of the blog publishing platforms support schema. In Article schema, it maintains the published date. Even if there is no mention of the published date, you can reveal this information using the schema. Open Google Rich Results test page and enter the URL of the web page.

Find Out When a Webpage Was Published

It will show you all the schema added to the web page. In the Article Schema, you can find the Published date and Updated date of the web page.

3. Use Wayback machine

Wayback Machine is an Internet archive that keeps a snapshot of each web page over a period of time. It may not exactly reveal the original published date but the date will be close. Even if the web publisher has changed the published date or added the last updated date, Wayback machine will tell you if the web page existed in the past.

Find When A Website Was First Published

See the snapshot. This web page was originally published back in 2019 and received several updates since then. We usually change the published date if most of the information has been changed. So, schema, Google search, and other tools will tell you the published date that we keep on changing on updates. But Wayback machine knows that the page existed in the past. The oldest snapshot it kept was captured on 12 June 2019. So, the web page was either created on the day or close to that day.

Some of the guides suggest using Carbon Dating the Web. This website won’t work if the web publisher has changed the page creation date. This website uses the Article schema. So, it won’t work accurately.

Wrap Up

I personally use the Wayback machine to find out the creation date of a web page. This website may not give you the exact date but you get an idea of the time frame when the website or web page was published. You can also enter the domain of a website to know when the website was published. URL structure method also works fine on the websites that have URL structure with the date.

I hope you found this article interesting. I added all the working ways to know when the web page was published. If you have any questions or confusion, you can always contact me for more information.

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