Web Searching – Confusion with date of print publication

Greg Notess’ On The Net column in the current issue of Online Magazine covers a myriad of issues for searchers, who want to identify a date for a Web page. It’s often the case that a Web server reports one date while the page displays another–if it even bothers to provide a date. Another common phenomenon is the use of Javascript to display the current date regardless of the date of publication.

Date searching is also problematic. The date provided by the search engine is often the Web server’s date stamp and sometimes the crawler’s indexing date. “The danger for the unwary information seeker is in falling into the clutches of a misleadingly dated Web page and drawing false conclusions about the page’s content based on that one date. When accuracy of chronology is essential, remember to insist on more than one date verification.”

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