Google Bids Farewell to Cache Links. Why and What Now?

Cache links have been part of Google’s search engine since its early days, and now they are officially gone. After clicking the three dots to access the ‘About this result’ panel, you’ll no longer see the Cached button. This was confirmed by Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, on Feb 1, 2024.

Here’s what it looked like before:

cached button in about this result panel

And here’s what it looks like now:

About this result without cached button

Over the past few months, users have been carefully watching Google’s experimentation with cache links. Some users have seen these links while logged into their account, others only after logging out. Some users didn’t see cache links anywhere. X held an entire discussion about this.

The end result? Google decided that links allowing users to view cached versions of webpages were no longer necessary. It might sound a bit cliché, but technological progress is the main reason for this change. Cached links used to be a crucial workaround for accessing web pages when websites failed to load (due to slow network speeds or other issues). But with today’s high-speed internet, these connection issues almost never happen. Rarely do users need to access cached versions of pages.

Users can still view cache pages through the “cache:[URL]” search operator. But don’t rely on this alternative because Google plans to retire this feature as well.

If you need to check cached versions of your pages, use the URL Inspection tool in Google Search Console. Enter your URL, run the live test, click on the View tested page, and choose Screenshot.

Screenshot of the page in GSC URL Inspection

And if you need to see a cached copy of another website’s page, head over to Web Archive. Google says it may eventually add links to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine in the ‘About this result’ panel, as this was previously the source of the cache link.

cached webpage by Wayback Machine

SE Ranking has a ready-made solution for you while you wait for Google’s promises to be fulfilled. It’s called the Google Cache Checker. Just enter any URL into this free tool to see your analyzed page exactly as Googlebot sees it.

cached webpage by SE Ranking's Google Cache Search Tool

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