Googlebot has to visit websites, crawl through the content, and index them to provide users with the most relevant search results.
But did you know that Google doesn’t just crawl through websites?
The IT giant also records and stores all scanned sites in a database on its servers.
That database is called Google Cache, and today we will take a closer look at it.
What Is Google Cache?
Google takes a snapshot of every webpage and keeps it as a backup in case the live page isn’t available for any of the reasons. Google keeps millions of sites as a backup, and this unified database is called Google Cache.
The practice improved the user experience. For instance, if any search results interest you but are not currently available (deleted, offline, or else), you can access the Google Cache website.
If you take a look at Google search result pages, you can see that the search results have, in fact, snapshots of the websites attached to them in the SERPS.
Google has optimized its platform so that the algorithm returns search results with links attached to relevant pages in Google Cache.
It is pretty amazing, given the fact that the Google caching system is completely separated from their crawling and indexing systems. You can get more assured about this here.
How often does Google update cache?
They update Google Cache regularly. If designers make changes to a site, they won’t show up in the Google Cache unless Google updates the website snapshot.
Why Is It Important To Cache Websites?
Website owners keep changing their websites to offer better user experience and relevance to the target audience.
However, there are other culprits, such as hackers, who intentionally mangle up information on sites or unforeseen circumstances that result in fatal data errors.
Here are several reasons why cached copies of websites are essential.
Some site owners delete entire web pages, and users might need the information that was on these pages.
Thanks to Google Cache!
People can still access Google View cached pages that are long gone on the live website.
Improving Page Loading Speed Across The Internet
Serving the cached data to website visitors reduces the time between user requests and servers, which results in faster loading times.
That, in turn, improves the search rankings of a website.
If you’re using WordPress (like 35 % of all websites out there), you should check out these plugins to optimize loading time.
Also, a traffic surge can slow down server response times, thus significantly increasing the page loading speed.
Sending Google cached pages instead of live web pages is the best way to overcome this challenge and maintain an excellent user experience.
Google web cache can help bring back the entire site because it keeps all your web pages stored in a secure location.
Of course, it still makes sense to make website backups on your own regularly.
If you’re managing a lot of visual content, you should also consider using digital asset management (DAM) tools to organize all of your visual assets in one place.
When To Use Google Cache
There’s a time and a place for everything, so it’s best to understand when Google cache should be used.
Here are a few scenarios where you’ll need cached internet sites.
Accessing Geo-Blocked Content
Websites very often implement geo-restrictions for a variety of reasons.
Google Cache knows no boundaries.
People can access their favorite web content via Google Cache URL even if the original website can’t be accessed in the region in which they live.
If you are in this situation, you can find an old website cache to bypass geo-restrictions effortlessly.
Checking Last Crawling Dates
The results of your content efforts will reflect your website’s ranking in search engine result pages (SERPs).
However, updating your website and uploading new content doesn’t mean instant results. Google will first have to re-index your website.
The only way to see when was the last time Google indexed your website is to use Google Cache.
If your website has already been indexed, Google Search Console’s Index Coverage report shall provide detailed reports on when they last crawled your pages.
Also, once you make changes resulting in a rich snippet, they won’t reflect how your website appears in SERPs unless Google reindexes your website.
You must closely monitor the last indexing dates to know when your updates will show in SERPs.
Accessing Lost Content
Lost content is deleted content. Google cached pages offer a convenient way of accessing it, which is good news for both site owners and users.
If, in any case, your hosting provider fails at keeping your website backed up and it gets deleted due to server malfunction or hack, you can get it back intact by performing a Google cache search.
The same applies to users who discover their favorite website is no longer up.
Thanks to Google Cache, they can look up cached pages in such a case.
How To Find Google Cached Pages
Now that you know what Google Cache is, why it is crucial, and when to use it, it is time to learn how to access cached versions of a website.
There are several ways to do it, and we’ll guide you through each option – step by step.
How to Access Cached Web Pages Directly Via Google
You can access all indexed web pages directly from Google. It’s by far the most convenient way to do it.
You type the search query in Google’s search box and go to search results.
Your search query should be www.websitename.com to search for websites directly.
Find the website you are looking for in the search results, and click on the Google About This Result feature (the three dots) right next to the search result.
Then you need to choose ‘Cached’.
Once you click Cached Google will serve you with the latest version of the website indexed by Googlebot.
You can choose from the three types of cached web page views – Full version, Text-only version, and View Source.
If you click on the Full version, you will be able to see a rendered view of the cached page.
The Text-only version excludes the CSS and displays the web page without images.
View source version allows you to see HTML code picked up by Googlebot.
How to View Cached Pages in Chrome
You can access Google Cache directly from the Google Chrome web browser. Open Google Chrome and type the following address cache:www.websitename.com.
How to Access a Cached Version of a Website Using Google Chrome Plugins
Several Google Chrome plugins, such as Web Cache Viewer, can enable you to access cached versions of webpages on the go.
First, you have to add it to Chrome. It’s straightforward. All you have to do is click Add to Chrome.
While browsing, you can right-click anywhere on the web page and choose Web Cache Viewer > Google Cache Archive to view the latest version of the page indexed by Google.
Explore Different Web Archives
This might hit you as a surprise, but Google is not the only entity out there archiving web pages.
Various web archiving initiatives around the globe are currently doing the same.
They may not be as consistent with updates and crawling as Google, but they can still prove valuable resources to find cached pages when you need to access deleted or geo-blocked web page content.
There are dozens of web archiving initiatives, and we are unable to list them all out here. Here are a few further examples:
Google Cache is a powerful resource to have at your disposal.
Google cached view helps you access deleted content, bypass geo-restrictions, and use indexed pages as a backup for your website.
Google’s cache also helps you keep your marketing, content, and SEO efforts in check.
Several methods have been discussed in this article on how to get Google cached pages. If you still need clarification about it, you can get a clearer understanding here.
However, there are also other web archiving initiatives besides Google Cache that you can use as well.