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Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

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Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby banterbanter » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:05 pm

Hi,

Until recently, if I searched a review or article on SOS there would be a date at the top so you could see if it was recent or from 8 years ago - which is helpful to know.

Why's it gone now? All article are timeless!

Thanks
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:11 pm

The published date should be at the very bottom of the article page.
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby CS70 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:42 pm

Yeah it tricked me as well, for some reason I expected it on the top! :D
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:33 pm

I maybe hallucinating, but I think the publication date used to be at the top of the article some time ago, but it has definitely been at the bottom for a while now.
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby CS70 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:28 pm

Yes it was! Just took a random example and I was immediately lucky:

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... io-upgrade

checking with the Wayback Machine the date ("Published ..") was clearly on the top in April 2019:

https://web.archive.org/web/20190418141 ... io-upgrade

If I am allowed a vote, to me it makes way more sense to have the date on the top, which is where my guess is everybody would expect it..
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby banterbanter » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:32 am

Ah :)
Thanks!
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby Watchmaker » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:47 am

CS70 wrote:If I am allowed a vote, to me it makes way more sense to have the date on the top, which is where my guess is everybody would expect it..

Seconded. Presenting at the bottom is a research bottleneck :-)
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby Wonks » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:56 am

Top is far better.
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby Folderol » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:16 am

Ditto.
It's where i always look first when doing research on any subject. In fact, for a lot of things, when I was at work, if there wasn't a date there I'd immediately skip to the next article.
{you definitely don't want to study a device only to find it's been obsolete for 10 years}
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby Matt Houghton » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:40 pm

Wonks wrote:Top is far better.

I agree — and pointed this out to the powers that be a while back. But I gather that Google's algorithms penalise older articles/reward newer content, and that this somehow overcomes that problem for the several decades' worth of material we have up there. Much of which is as relevant as it ever was.
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby ManFromGlass » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:23 pm

I’ve been in Folderols position a number of times. It would be good to see author and date together at the top of reviews and previews. Especially when researching older gear.

I’m finding navigating the SOS online presence getting to be a bit of a guessing game now. A quick example - Classic Tracks - I want to go from the magazine front page to the current Classic Tracks which doesn’t have its own heading. Where do I go? Techniques? People? And then a full page of headings where I have to poke away at until I get lucky finding the article under a heading that I never would have guessed. I know I can be a bit slow and I don’t expect SOS to cater to how my brain works but there must be an easier way than the guessing game. Or perhaps a quick how to search tutorial for the left brain impaired would help? I hope I’m not coming off as a grump. SOS is a major resource for me and I haven’t figured out how to get to where I need quickly.
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby CS70 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:47 pm

Matt Houghton wrote:I agree — and pointed this out to the powers that be a while back. But I gather that Google's algorithms penalise older articles/reward newer content, and that this somehow overcomes that problem for the several decades' worth of material we have up there. Much of which is as relevant as it ever was.

Just as an argument with the aforementioned powers: there's no way google would be interested in the date as shown textually in a web page and even less where it is in the page. There is actually no way of telling when a web page was first made available - not one that a computer can automatically recognize at least.

What google may do is to keep the date of when the page was indexed for the first time; and keep a record of update times if the content retrieved at the same URL has changed from the last time it has been indexed (it obviously won't keep the actual content, but compute some sort of hash of the content and compare that).

If for some reason google would actually scan the content text for something that resembles a date format (which I seriously doubt) the viewing location would be totally irrelevant, as it's determined by the rendering engine (i.e. your browser), not the content itself - it's the point of the web.

There's no way that google may penalize a page because of the position of some text into it. :)
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby desmond » Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:06 pm

CS70 wrote:Just as an argument with the aforementioned powers: there's no way google would be interested in the date as shown textually in a web page and even less where it is in the page.

Of course it would. Google is *incredibly* invested in extracting as much value out of an indexed page as possible - the more data points, the more an informed decision it can make about the content.

CS70 wrote:If for some reason google would actually scan the content text for something that resembles a date format (which I seriously doubt)

Why would you doubt it? It's not exactly a hard thing to implement...

CS70 wrote:There's no way that google may penalize a page because of the position of some text into it. :)

It's not really a case of "penalizing" as such, Google is trying to present the best results of value to the user, and the publication dates are one such piece of information, among the thousands of others Google scores to compute a page rank.

It will be of less importance than other things, but generally, content found lower down is regarded to be of less importance by Google's algorithms, so likely a publication data at the foot of an article becomes one more piece of text, whereas if it was by the headline, it could more likely be interpreted as a publication date stamp.
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby redlester » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:57 pm

What would Google do if the dates were at both the top and the bottom? But if they were different dates? :mrgreen:
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:51 pm

Put the original publication date in an image file at the top of the article?

[edit] General comment, not replying to redlester.
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Re: Why have SOS taken away all the dates for online articles?

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:59 pm

I long ago reached a point where I scroll to the bottom and don't even question it any more - but yeah, the date really should be up top!
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