Google ends cached links that let users access archived webpages; Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine emerges as replacement.
Google has officially retired the “cached” link feature that allowed users to access archived backups of websites.
The cached links were a longtime staple of Google Search, functioning as a way to view unavailable or changed webpages.
“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,” said Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan in a statement confirming the change.
Sullivan mentioned the possibility of Google partnering with the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to show historical versions of web pages in Google’s “About This Result” feature. However, he clarified that these discussions are ongoing and any collaboration is unconfirmed.
For website owners and developers who want to see how Google’s crawler interprets their pages, Sullivan recommended using the URL Inspector tool in Google Search Console, which remains available as a resource.
Google’s decision to discontinue its web caching service signals a change in how online content is stored and made available over time. With Google removing this feature, the responsibility for preserving old versions of webpages and keeping Internet history intact falls more heavily on groups like the Internet Archive.
As the online world keeps developing rapidly, entities like the Archive that intentionally maintain caches of websites and data will only grow more important for retaining a record of the internet’s past.
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Jim is a Senior Digital Marketing Strategist Spyder Digital and has over 19 years of experience in the field. His insight and ability to drive new business for his clients from the Internet is unparalleled.
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