How To Find When A Website Was Published
When you are writing a research paper or an academic journal, date of publication is an important element in the citations. In most cases, it is pretty simple. It would be mentioned along with the title of the paper or article, the authors’ names, and so on. However, if it’s a webpage or there is no date in the research paper that you are trying to cite, things get tricky. So, how do you find out when a website was published?
Don’t fret or get annoyed. There are multiple ways how you can find the publication date of a research paper, a web page, or any other article published online. Let’s get going! Check out the various ways discussed in detail below on how to find when a website was published.
Google To The Rescue!
As always, you can depend on Google to help you in time of need. A simple search can get you the publication date of the webpage. What you need to do here is to make your way to the Google website. Type inurl: and enter the URL of your article’s page immediately after it. Tap on enter and Google will have a search result page ready for you with that webpage on it.
Now, in the URL address bar, move to the end of the link and add “&as_qdr=y15”. Hit enter. Now, after the page loads, the search results will show up along with their publication date. How easy is that? This never fails!
Checking the Page and URL
One very simple way is to check if the article has its published date under the title or along with the author’s name. Usually, in these cases, there is a secondary headline under the main title, followed by the author’s name and the published date, with an optional image. Some article may have been edited after the first publication. In most cases, you will find a disclaimer on why the edit or update was necessary and the date on which it was updated.
If you cannot find it on the webpage, check out the URL. There are many methods to use the URL to find the publication date. Content management systems like WordPress let users set the URL with month and years. This helps them in keeping track of when it was published and keep you informed as well! If this also does not work out, try checking out the image URLs. At times, the images feature month-based URLs.
The Wayback Machine
The Wayback Machine was established in 2001 as a non-profit organization. It works as a digital archive and follows how each website progress. Websites or webpages that are not very popular might not show up on the Wayback Machine. However, if you do succeed, chances are you will get all the details you want, including the publication date.
To do this, go to the Wayback Machine’s website. Type in the web address of the web page on the address bar there. You will see a “Browse History” tab there. Clicking on it make the tool check if it can find the website’s logs. If it does find something, it will show you a calendar view with snapshots for each publication.
Carbon Dating the Web
If you are looking for when a webpage was first created, there is no better way to do this than to take our regular carbon dating and use its digital version! Carbon Dating the Web is a great tool that works to give you an estimate of when the webpage was first created. Testing shows that it has about a 75% success rate.
It is also pretty simple to use. All you need to do is to type in the URL of the webpage into the box. Click on “Carbon Date!” The tool will go through its algorithm and try to give you an estimated first publication date for the webpage. If you use this frequently, you can also down the Carbon Dating the Web application.
This is another easy way to check for the date. Head to the web page whose date you are looking for. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and carefully look at all the information there. Chances are that you may come across a publication note or some copyright information. If you do, you might see the original date of publication. Again, similar to the above method, this could reflect the updated date rather than the initial publication date.
The updated date refers to the time when something or modified on the page. This leads to the conclusion that the webpage may have been published before the day and the latest update was on the mentioned date. A recent copyright date could also let us know that the website is quite active and hence, the info you gather there could be relatively trustworthy. It is also good to know that the copyright date usually has only the year and does not include the month and day.
If the methods listed above are not working for you, here’s another one! Check the web page’s source code. You can do so by clicking right and searching for the header section. It would be between the <head> </head> tags. The meta tag may tell us the published date.
Another handy way to check for the publication date of an article would be to take a look at the XML Sitemap of the website. You can easily access the sitemap by simply adding “/sitemap.xml” to the URL. The published date would be available if it was not edited and updated at any time after publication. If it was, then the edit date would be seen as it would overwrite the initial date.
To conclude, it looks like Google is by far the most efficient way to answer the question How To Find Out When A Website Was Published. Its success rate is also high. However, if that doesn’t work for you, you can try one of the many methods given in this post.