Picto thématique

Rule n° 224 - The date of publication or update of the contents is made available in a programmatic form.

We advise you to indicate a publication date in your pages. But since you are not only talking to humans, but also to the machines they use, we also advise you to indicate a publication date in the code of your pages. This can have advantages in terms of referencing, it is also a way of helping machines to classify content.

#SEO #Structure and code #Development


  • Provide date of publication to search engines and indexing tools.
  • Improving the integration of content by search engines and indexing tools.
  • Improve the way content is taken into account by search engines and indexing tools.


Use the HTML element element to tag the publication and update dates of content displayed on the site, and its datetime attribute to indicate these in the standard format required by the HTML5 specification,

Find out more: time on MDN


Check that each date of publication or content update shown on the site is tagged with the time HTML element, with a datetime attribute indicating the date in the standard format required by the HTML5 specification.

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Overview and background

The 240 Opquast rules are defined and agreed upon by an extensive community of web professionals and academics. These web quality assurance guidance rules started as a list of best practices 20 years ago. They have since been revised every five years and have been tried and tested via millions of web interactions by Opquast community’s customers, including the leading CMS communities which have developed plugins for WordPress, Drupal and Prestashop. The most recent version, v4, was established in 2020.

Each rule has individual technical sheets and the rules can be searched by project phase or various topics: e-commerce, data-privacy, internationalization, security, code, etc, or by themes: accessibility, SEO, mobile, privacy, and ecodesign. The complete checklist is available on a creative commons license BY-SA.

To learn more about the Opquast approach, read this article published at Smashing Magazine

Broad application and benefits

The rules should be applied to your projects from the design phase through to post-implementation , and they should be understood by all professionals with web and customer experience (CX) responsibilities: from strategy to operations, marketers to project managers, and editorial to technical staff. The benefits of using this ruleset are numerous, including improving customer satisfaction, web performance, and e-commerce, and expanding your client base, while also decreasing your errors and costs.

Multidisciplinary verticles - accessiiblity, SEO, e-commerce, ecodesign etc..- starting from the foundational Opquast base.

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The objective of these rules and the Opquast community mission is ‘making the web better’ for your customers and for everyone! Opquast rules cover the key major areas of risk that can negatively affect website users such as privacy, ecodesign, accessibility and security.

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