One Google searchThe oldest and most popular feature, cache links, is being retired, Google’s search coordinator said. Letter X seen by The Verge. Best known by the “Cached” button, these are a snapshot of the last web page Google indexed. However, according to Google, they are no longer required.
“This was designed to help people access pages when they return to them,” Google’s Danny Sullivan wrote in a post. .
Hey, it’s catching up. Yes, deleted. I know, it’s sad. I’m sad too. This is one of our oldest features. But it was designed to help people get to the pages so you can’t depend on the page loading most of the time. Things have improved a lot these days. So it was decided…
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 1, 2024
Currently, this feature is used for more than just web page backup. Many people rely on it to check the validity of a site, and SEO managers can use this feature to check their pages for errors. Many users, especially news professionals, use the cache to see when a website has recently been updated, whether information has been added or removed. And sometimes a cache can allow you to check a geoblocked site in your region.
Previously, clicking the three-dot menu next to a result would open an “about this result” dialog with a Cached button at the bottom right. Now, it opens a larger menu that shows the website’s “about” page, Wikipedia description, privacy settings, and more. The cached button is now nowhere to be seen.
None of the comments on Sullivan’s responses were positive, with one SEO user saying, “come on, why remove the feature? It’s really good for all of SEO.” Sullivan said that Google may one day add links to the Internet Archive with a cached About This Result link button.
However, it sounds like it’s far from a done deal and will shift a large amount of traffic to the Internet Archive. “There’s no promises. We’ll have to talk to them, see how things can go – it involves people far beyond me. But I think it would be nice all around,” he said.