Ever run a search online and wondered how Google is able to gain “live” access to so many websites at the same time, sometimes in a hundredth of a second? Well, in reality, it doesn’t need to. It could simply save a copy of a webpage in its database and display it to you with its original link upon request. Smart right?
About Web Caching
A cached page is a “snap shot” or a static version of a website that is archived and stored as a backup. The cache API system helps in storage and retrieval of network requests and corresponding responses, to ensure speedy results to online (or in some cases, offline) searches. It temporarily stores web documents, including HTML pages and images, which could help prevent server lag.
It can prove most useful in cases where a site is down or simply failing to load, or cases when a user needs to find an older version of a website. In some cases, access can be granted to a cached version of a site that would normally require registration or subscription. On Google, the service is referred to as the Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Cache. Considering the speed of Google servers, a cached version of a website can be accessed faster than the original page.
Viewing Cached Pages
By simply running a search on Google, you could find links to a cached website among the results, which you can click and view. If you plan to deliberately access a cached web version, there are basically two ways to achieve this on a web browser from the Google website.
- Click on the search box and type the relevant word, line of text or entire web link
- Locate the specific or preferred page in which you desire a cached version
- Click the drop down arrow beside the link provided in the specific result
- The “cached” tab will be displayed. Click on it to access the cached site.
Click the green down arrow first, then click the cached tab when displayed
Alternatively, a user can go directly to the cached version of a site by typing cache: in front and together with the desired link. For example, cache:yahoo.com gives access to the web page displayed in the image below, as at the time the search was made. This is, of course, suitable when you have an actual website in mind. Or you can use this handy tool to check the Google cache.
Note: The cache search is case sensitive. All letters must be typed in lowercase. Also, spaces must be avoided at any point in the line of the text
The site displays information regarding the page version and provides other options
Cached pages only provide outdated information, which might not be a problem for those who wish to specifically obtain such info. Much older pages might not also be available depending on the last version saved by Google. Although security issues regarding access to private content and personal information on saved web versions are a cause for concern, the cache tool remains an effective means of surfing the web and accessing information.