Google Cached Pages Gone?

// // November 06th 2011 // SEO

I've seen a number of people asking why the cached page link has disappeared from Google search results.

Don't worry, it's not gone, it's just been moved.

Cached Link in Instant Preview

Google Cached Link in Instant Preview

The cached and similar links are now in the instant preview which is activated when you mouse over a result and then hover over the double arrow.

My guess is that these links are not widely used, so moving them to the instant preview retains the functionality but removes some weight from search results. That's important given all of the rich snippets, site links, social annotations and authorship being packed into search results.

In all, I like the change. However, the fact that so many can't seem to find the link does make me wonder about the instant preview feature and whether the interaction is truly intuitive.

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Comments About Google Cached Pages Gone?

// 7 comments so far.

  1. Aaron Friedman // November 07th 2011

    AJ,
    Good point about why they might have moved it. If they figured that a large amount of people weren’t using them, might as well keep them out of view so the page doesn’t look cluttered as well as any extra bandwidth that it was using.

    I will say, I very rarely use the Instant preview. My feeling is, if I cant find what I am looking for from the title and description, im not clicking. As far as the preview goes, I usually just assume its not going to be very good
    Aaron Friedman
    @aaronfriedman

  2. hari // November 16th 2011

    hai , im hari ..i have deleted my postings . but still its not getting out of cache in google

    the web is http://www.59services.com/comment/40

    and the cached url is “http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:DM6n_5CzItEJ:www.59services.com/comment/40+xchanging+chennai&cd=9&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=in”

  3. AJ Kohn // November 17th 2011

    Aaron,

    Thanks for your comment and insight about the Instant Preview. I’ve run some other tests that would support your own personal behavior. In general I believe most users are scanning the page and looking primarily at the title as an indicator of relevance. The Instant Preview feels like an advanced feature for a sub-set of users.

  4. AJ Kohn // November 17th 2011

    Hari,

    There are ways to remove outdated content from Google’s cache. The process to do so depends on whether you’re the site owner or not.

    If you are the site owner, here’s how you would remove a cached version of a page. If you are not the site owner, you would follow this process to request the removal.

    I hope this helps.

  5. Julie // December 18th 2011

    I tried to use the new cached function but it didn’t work. Did you try using it? Did it work for you? Thanks.

  6. AJ Kohn // December 18th 2011

    Julie,

    Yes, I just reconfirmed it now. The cached pages are still there when you trigger the instant preview.

  7. Max Swanson // August 26th 2012

    This is yet another blow to screenreader users, mostly visualy impaired comme moi. The cached versions would smooth out some rough edges, but now it’s hard to get to them.
    You can left and right-click simulated mice with a screenreader but mouse-over is very tricky. Why should I have to hover in order to discover?

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