Google has formally discontinued the “cached” link feature, which let users view website backups stored in the past.
Google Search’s cached links served as a means of accessing pages that were either inaccessible or had changed for a considerable amount of time.
It was designed to make it easier for users to view pages back when page loading times were frequently unpredictable. Things have significantly improved these days. In a statement verifying the modification, Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan stated, “So, it was decided to retire it.”
Sullivan brought up the possibility of Google collaborating with Wayback Machine of the Internet Archive to display older versions of webpages in Google’s “About This Result” section. He made it clear that these talks are still ongoing and that there is no proof of any collaboration.
Sullivan recommended using Google Search Console’s URL Inspector tool for website owners and developers who wish to observe how Google’s crawler views their pages. This tool is still accessible as a resource.
The Price Of Data Storage:
Cache links were formerly available through a dropdown menu that appeared next to each search result. A large portion of the internet’s material was archived when Google’s web crawler indexed the internet and made backups of websites.
Google has recently placed a strong emphasis on cost reduction, thus clearing up this cache will free up computer power.
Over the past few months, the cached link feature has been periodically vanishing. There are now no cache links accessible in the search results on Google. Additionally, all Google support pages related to cached links have been deleted.
The Growing Presence of the Internet Archive:
Since Google has stopped providing cached links, the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine are primarily responsible for website archiving.
Users are able to view archived copies of websites by using browser extensions such as the Official Wayback Machine Extension.
With the Wayback Machine Extension, you may read digital books, share old links on social media, save webpages, and restore lost pages, among other things. The majority of functions operate without an account.
Creating Links for Personal Caches:
For users who still want to browse cached pages, there is an alternative. A Google search using the word “cache:” and the URL will still occasionally turn up cached versions.
By adding a website URL to “https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:,” you can also make your own cache links.
Google’s move to end its web caching service indicates a shift in the way that content is stored and made accessible online in the long run. Google’s decision to remove this service places more of the task of maintaining outdated webpages and Internet history on organizations like the Internet Archive.
The importance of organizations like the Archive, which purposefully save caches of webpages and data, will only increase as the internet continues to expand quickly and we need to preserve a record of its past.