Google may replace the cache link with links to the Wayback Machine.
Google formally deleted the cache link from Google Search results snippets last week, and it has confirmed that the cache capability will be withdrawn shortly. Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, informed us that Google has “decided to retire it” and has deleted it from Google Search result pages. The cache will be erased soon.
Cache removed. Around January 25th, I mentioned on the Search Engine Roundtable that the cache link had been removed from the search results snippet. This screenshot shows that the cache link is completely absent.
The cache operator works for now. But the cache operator is currently operational, at least for the time being. Google [cache:domain.com] – so, for example, on this site, you can use [https://www.google.com/search?q=cache:seroundtable.com] to access the cache.
The cache operator will stop operating. However, Google has stated that this will also be retired and stopped working. “You’re going to see cache: go away shortly, too,” Sullivan added.
Noarchive. Google stated that you can retain the noarchive tags in place, and Google will still respect them. Sullivan wrote, “But, I hear you say, what about noarchive? We’ll still respect that; there’s no need to interfere with it. Furthermore, it is used by people other than ourselves.
Wayback Machine instead. Sullivan stated that he would like Google to include links to the Wayback Machine so that users can access older versions of the pages. “I’m hoping that we’ll add links to @internetarchive from where we had the cache link previously, within About This Result.” It is such an incredible resource. I believe it would also be a good fit for About The Result’s information literacy goal, as it allows people to easily observe how a page changes over time. No promises. We need to talk to them and see how things proceed, which involves individuals well beyond me. Sullivan wrote, “But I think it would be nice all around.”
Why we care. While the cache is not ideal for troubleshooting SEO difficulties, it has been a go-to tool for many SEOs and searchers over the years. However, Google has decided that it is time for it to go, and we will need to find replacements.