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Google Search makes Zombie threads look current

(6 Posts)
DisreputabIeDog Mon 03-Apr-17 08:06:50

I've fallen for this a number of times now and assumed it was me that had made the mistake.

But it's not, and I've got screenshots.

I'll do a Google search and naturally if Mumsnet comes up in the top 5 I'll invariably check the date and click through if it's current. The threads are years old though! Today I wanted to know what the Weight Watchers No Count foodlist was and Google told me someone had asked the same question on Mumsnet in Jan this year. I click and discover it was actually from 2005! I've checked the thread and no-one even posted on it in January.

So why is this happening? This must be why so many zombie threads are appearing, people (rightly) think they are active.

LornaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Apr-17 09:34:31


Thanks so much for that information.

We're honestly not too sure but have sent this over to tech to have a look at now.

LornaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Apr-17 10:29:19


Tech has got back to us.

It appears that the date showing on google is when Google reindexed the thread on their search. It's not actually something that we control! (Also why it's showing as being so recent).

Hope that clears things up a bit!

Becca19962014 Mon 03-Apr-17 10:53:07

The same thing happens if you do a general search on MN because they use google for the searching. Only advanced shows dates, and, again it's not necessarily the most recent first.

The reason is the same as the general search uses the same indexing as Google generally.

DisreputabIeDog Mon 03-Apr-17 13:52:32

Oh you're so efficient! Thanks for this, what a pain though...It throws all sorts of threads up as seemingly recent.

meditrina Tue 04-Apr-17 06:22:06

If nothing can be done about this, can we have clearer zombie thread warnings at both too and foot of a thread?

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