Google Cache

One of the great innovations of search engine technology: GoogleSearch caches every page it crawls. So if a page is not accessible by normal means at the moment, it may be good enough to view the version Google cached.

There are two and a half ways to access this feature:
Note that if you follow the "Cached" link from normal search results, you will get a URL resembling

In this, the arbitrary letters right after cache: are a database key specifying which cache item to show. Changing the sub-URL will not change the displayed page. When I first discovered this, I thought "Oh. They got sick of people like me just typing the cache URL without bothering to go through their front page, so they instituted this security measure. Oh well." What it really is, though, is an efficiency thing to avoid a redundant database query, as evidenced by the fact that URLs without the key still work.

If you check the Cached copy of a page, you'll see the date the page was last indexed. It's anyone's guess why some pages in a given site are indexed much more often than others. Some pages in this Wiki have been indexed within a couple weeks while some have not been indexed in over a year.

Sure, maybe. I'm guessing it has to do with how far the page is from the "top" of the site. If a page has some links pointing to it from the outside, it's a top. But if nothing points to it from the outside and it's several steps away from FrontPage and other pages with links from the outside then it's buried at the bottom. Think SixDegreesOfWikiWiki.

With the market being so poor for online magazines, I've found the GoogleCache immensely useful in retrieving articles from online magazines that no longer exist. Some of those articles were mine, so the cache holds a special place in my heart. -- francis

Another useful application is to recover pages of WardsWiki, that are deleted by some anonymous people without giving a reason, like just experienced with WikiPrinciples. -- FridemarPache

Wired went out of business??

See also WaybackMachine

On another note: If you encounter a technical paper in PDF format, and you don't have an operational PDF viewer, you might be able to get it from the GoogleCache by first finding the resource with Google, clicking on the highlighted "HTML" and then bookmarking something like this:

View edit of November 10, 2014 or FindPage with title or text search