Find and Search Cached Pages in Google

Find Specific Information Faster With Google's Cache

Cached image using Google search syntax
View a cached images. Screen capture

Did you find the perfect search result but the website is down? Did the information recently change? Fear not, you can use this Google power search trick to find a cached image of the page and still find the precise information you need. 

As Google indexes Web pages, it retains a snapshot of the page contents, known as a cached page. This page is periodically updated with new cached images. 

  1. In the search results, click on the triangle next to the URL of your desired search term.
  1. Selected "Cached." (Your choices should be "cached" and "similar.")

Clicking on the Cached link will often show you the page as it was last indexed on Google, but with your search keywords highlighted. This method is extremely useful if you want to find a particular piece of information without having to scan the entire page. If your search term isn't highlighted, just use control or command-F and type in your search phrase. 

Limitations of Caches

Keep in mind that this shows the last time the page was indexed, so sometimes images won't display, and the information will be out of date. For most quick searches, that doesn't matter. You can always go back to the current version of the page and double check to see if the information has changed. Some pages also instruct Google to make historical pages unavailable through use of a protocol called "robots.txt."

Website designers can also elect to keep pages private from Google searches by removing them from the site index or "noindexing" them.

Once that is done, the cached pages are usually still available in the Wayback machine, although they may not show up in Google. 

Google Syntax to View the Cache

You can cut to the chase and go directly to the cached page using the Cache: syntax. Searching for AdSense information on this site would look something like this: adsense

This language is case sensitive, so make sure "cache:" is lower case. You also need to make sure there is no space between cache: and your URL. You do need a space between your URL and your search phrase. It's not necessary to put the "HTTP://" part in the URL.

Note: Use Command/Control F to highlight keywords or jump to the desired spot.

The Internet Archive

If you're interested in the oldest archived pages, you can also go to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.   It's not maintained by Google, but the Wayback Machine has sites that are indexed as far back as 1999.

The Google Time Machine

As part of their tenth birthday celebration, Google introduced the oldest index they still had available. The old search engine was only brought back as part of Google's tenth birthday, and the feature is now gone.

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