The Importance of Current Information
Source: HubPages.com - At the time of this blog post, this hub was at least four years old. Click on the image to view the hub.
Keeping up to date in any industry is important. But this is even truer with industries that frequently change. Publishing is one of those quickly changing businesses, especially now that there are more and more publishing outlets. But when you seek out information regarding the industry, you need to be able to determine if the information is current. Without current information, you could be acting on that information which could cost you money.
About the Image Above
The image above is a screenshot of a hub from HubPages.com. As you can see, there is no date shown as to when it was written. This could be problematic because as mentioned previously, publishing is an industry that changes fairly frequently.
As an aside, the hub is at least four years old (as of this writing) and it still relatively useful as to the contents. I'll get into how I determined the age of the hub in the next section. It is still a very worthwhile read if you are considering getting into the publishing business. Here is the link.
How To Determine Dates of Publication
HubPages.com does not give you an indication of when a hub (that is what they call their articles) was written. But they do display when comments were created. That's what your are seeing in the comments section above.
Now it's important to realize that the hub could be even older than the comments are showing because it's possible for people to comment later than when the hub was written. So even if the hub was five years old if someone only started commenting a year later (and then from that point on) you would mistakenly believe the hub is 4 years old.
More practically however, most people comment on published works close to the time they were published so you still can use this as a pretty reliable indicator. It's still possible for them to comment later and you can see that in the featured hub of this article.
How to Find Current Information in the First Place
It's a bit frustrating when large websites like Hubpages don't make it known when their hubs were published. But that's the way it goes. However, you can still find current information by refining your search engine query. Suppose you wanted to still retrieve hubs about publishing from HubPages but you wanted them to be for the past year. Here is how you would go about doing that:
In Google type the following (exactly):
inurl:hubpages.com "self publish"
The inurl: is what is known as a Google Operator. This tells Google that you want to limit your searches to a specific web address (in this case hubpages.com.
We could have tried the word "publish" instead of self publish but that could be a bit too general. Bear that in mind when you perform this search technique.
While it's beyond the scope of this article to get into the nuances of Google operators, you need to understand that there will be times you will use inurl: and some of the results will not have the intended website address listed. This can happen for a number of reasons (some nefarious) but it could simply be that the website address is used as a parameter within another website.
When the results come back, click on Search Options as shown above. This will drop down other options as follows:
As you can see, you have several to choose from. There is an option to choose your own custom range which can be very useful for seeing if any results exist further in the past. Or perhaps you would like to see results for three months or six months, etc.
As you can see, this can be a great way to filter for current results and that can be really helpful when researching. However, just because this is a refinement does not automatically make the information factual. You still need to do due diligence as to checking your facts.
Another point - as I mentioned previously, the featured hub still has some very valuable information and is worth it to read through it when you are looking to get into publishing. By performing this refined search, it's very likely you would never come across the hub. That's important to keep in mind. Sometimes, it can be relevant (mostly) even if it's old. Other times, this technique is going to be your "hero in shining armor!"