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Cache URLs for Google Search are Formally Being Deactivated

Danny Sullivan, a representative for the company’s search team, has verified that Google has eliminated links to page caches from its search results page. Sullivan stated about X, “It was meant for helping people access pages when way back, you often couldn’t depend on a page loading,” Things have significantly improved these days. Thus, the decision was made to retire it.

In the past, you could view a webpage as Google views it by using the cache feature, which is helpful for more reasons than just seeing a page that is taking a long time to load. It can also be a very useful news gathering tool, allowing reporters to see exactly what information a company has added (or removed) from a website and a way to see details that people or companies might be trying to scrub from the web. SEO professionals could use it to debug their sites or even keep tabs on competitors. In case a website is restricted in your area, using Google’s cache can serve as a fantastic substitute for a VPN.

The cache of a page can usually be accessed in a few different ways. Next to a search result, there was a “Cached” button that could be accessed from the three button menu at the bottom of the “About this result” panel. For those who are knowledgeable, you can also add the prefix “cache:” to a URL before doing a search to instantly get to Google’s cached copy.

Over the past few months, Google’s cache links have been gradually removed, albeit it isn’t quite finished yet. Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable noticed that the links were completely gone by the end of January after they started to fade sporadically from search results in early December. Danny Sullivan verified in his tweet that the “cache:” search operator will be eliminated “in the near future,” along with the removal of the links.

The writing has been on the wall for some time, even though the cache links are only now being removed. A Google developer relations engineer named Martin Splitt stated that the cached view was a “basically unmaintained legacy feature” at the beginning of 2021.

Although it doesn’t appear that Google has any immediate plans to replace the functionality, Sullivan believes that Google will eventually include links to the Internet Archive that may be used to display the evolution of a webpage over time. “No guarantees,” he warns. We need to speak with them and see how things work out because it includes people much bigger than me. However, I believe it would be pleasant overall.

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