I’ve been watching this interesting Google bug for over a year now. Turns out that Google thinks that I posted every single post 7 hours prior to when I post. Whenever I make a new post here on my WordPress blog, and go find the post in Google’s search results, Google ALWAYS shows that I posted it 7 hours prior–even if I made the post 3 minutes ago.
Let’s look at a specific example. My last post, which was the presentation I made on technical SEO and SEO Audits at the Engage 2017 conference in Portland last week. Like I do with a lot of posts, after making the post I use the Google Fetch and Render tool to ask Google to crawl the post, and I request indexing. See the screen capture below:
Note the time stamp in Google’s fetch and render tool, though. It’s actually not correct, as it does show this based on PST time (I’m in Central Standard Time) here in Dallas. I made the post at 9:15am Central Time. Not PST time, which it is showing.
Here’s where it gets even more bizarre.
Then, I check to see if it’s indexed by searching for the URL in Google, as seen below. This is immediately after requesting indexing:
Even though I *JUST POSTED* the blog post, Google apparently believes I made the post 7 hours prior to when I posted it. I didn’t know that I can actually predict things now–if something happened, and I posted about it, I apparently knew about it 7 hours prior to that event happening, according to Google.
I’ve looked at many reasons why Google might think that I posted 7 hour prior–even looking at the time stamp in the html code of the page, as well as the server time. In fact, I’ve even had my web host look at the server date–which they say is correct. But, again, Google still thinks, after all this time, that I posted something 7 hours prior. Is this a Google bug? Or am I missing something, like a time/date setting somewhere that’s wrong?
Even if it’s a time/date stamp that’s on my server or on my WordPress blog, that would technically be something that I can manipulate. I don’t think Google should be relying on what time I say I posted something. Google should use their own date/time of when they crawled the post and make that determination.
Is this a Google bug? If so, it’s been going on for over a year now. If it’s not, and Google’s relying on my site or server to tell them when something was posted, then that’s not right, either, as it can be manipulated.
Update after posting this
So, right after I made THIS post, it turns out that Google believes that I posted this post 5 hours prior. Take a look:
Between the last post and this post, I changed the date/time on my laptop from PST to CST, as it was set for Pacific time from last week’s visit to Portland. However, I don’t think that Google would be using your own laptop’s time to show when something was posted.