Google’s Website Cache Is Still Available (For Now)

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            Google’s Website Cache Is Still Available (For Now)

Google recently updated it’s Google Cache documentation on their website cache and in so doing indirectly created a reminder that the cache is still available for virtually any webpage that Google has indexed.

What Google Said About The Webpage Cache

What was reported about Google’s cache may have unintentionally left the impression that it was permanently and irretrievably gone. But that’s not yet the case.

Here’s SearchLiaison’s announcement on on Twitter:

“Hey, catching up. Yes, it’s been removed. I know, it’s sad. I’m sad too. It’s one of our oldest features. But it was meant for helping people access pages when way back, you often couldn’t depend on a page loading. These days, things have greatly improved. So, it was decided to retire it.

Personally, I hope that maybe we’ll add links to @internetarchive from where we had the cache link before, within About This Result. It’s such an amazing resource. For the information literacy goal of About The Result, I think it would also be a nice fit — allowing people to easily see how a page changed over time. No promises. We have to talk to them, see how it all might go — involves people well beyond me. But I think it would be nice all around.

As a reminder, anyone with a Search Console account can use URL Inspector to see what our crawler saw looking at their own page: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9012289”

The cache is indeed gone from Google Search. But it’s still available as a search operator.

The reporting was correct that the cache was gone from Search but the part about its availability as a search operator got drowned out in the noise.

SearchLiaison was up front about the search operator.

His tweet continued:

“You’re going to see cache: go away in the near future, too.”

The “Cache:” Search Operator Is Still Working

Google recently updated their Search Central documentation on the cache: search operator to remove instructions for how to view the cache directly from the search results. But that’s it. There is no additional disclaimer that the cache: search operator is going away.

Google’s updated documentation removed references to the cache in search from two sections.

The documentation removed the following sentences:

“There are two ways to find the cached version of a page:
Search for cache: followed by the URL of the page, for example:
cache:https://example.com/your/page.html
Search for the URL, then click the 3 dots or arrow in the corner of the result to access a link to the cached version of the page.”

Google’s new documentation replaced the above paragraph with the following reworded passage:

“To find the cached version of a page, search for cache: followed by the URL of the page, for example:
cache:https://example.com/your/page.html”

The second change removed references to the cache in search from this passage (italicized part is removed):

“Most pages that Google indexed have a cached version, too. When a page doesn’t have a cached version, the previously mentioned methods for finding the cached version will fail…”

The above passage is replaced by the following one:

“Most pages that Google indexed have a cached version, too. When a page doesn’t have a cached version, using the cache: search operator to find the cached version will fail…”

Google’s SearchLiaison said that the cache: search operator was going away in the near future. The suggestion that Google might add a link to Internet Archive is not a useful replacement.

The reason it’s not useful is that the Google cache: search operator is useful for checking if competitor pages are indexed, not indexed or recently indexed – which is useful information.

The cache search operator is still so enjoy it while it lasts.

Read Google’s documentation about the cache: search operator:

cache: search operator

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