The Google cache is a kind of saved copy of a web page that can be retrieved from the servers. The page is copied as soon as a robot visits it. There are two kinds of caches: the browser cache (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) and the proxy cache. All websites are thus cached by Google, indexed and classified. Google uses the cached version to judge its relevance to a query. Google's servers are generally much faster than many web servers, so it is often faster to access the cached version of a page than the page itself. As a rule, every organic result (blue link) has a link to the cached version. Clicking on it will take you to the Google cached version of the page, instead of the actual page.


Uses and objectives of the Google cache

The main advantage of the Google cache is that it allows you to get results very quickly. This process considerably reduces the waiting time for users. Moreover, this system offers users the possibility to access content that is temporarily or permanently unavailable (because the cached version will still be available). For example, if a website has been deleted by its owner, Google Cache provides a backup of the most recent version with all its content. In addition, the Google cache is a clue to the last time the GoogleBotcrawled the page. The snapshot has a timestamp that indicates the exact time and date of the last exploration. However, this information must be taken with a pinch of salt. Sometimes Google does not create a new version during the reindexing of a web page. An older version can therefore be displayed in the cache and the SERPs even if the content has been updated several times. For SEO purposes, this can be a problem. Users may not find the most recent content on a website if Google's cache is updated less frequently than the site itself. If you find that this is a recurring problem, you can use the following meta tag in the header of your source code:

<meta name= »robots » content= »noarchive » />

How to see cached pages?

See cached pages on Chrome and Firefox

To view the cached version of the website, you usually just need to do a search from a mobile, tablet or computer. If you're using the Chrome browser, simply add "?cache" to the end of the URL. If you prefer Firefox, click on the little triangle next to the URL in green. You will then see a "cache" indication appear. Click on it and you will be directed to the cached version.

Viewing a cached page with Web Archive

If you boycott Google and use Yandex, Bing or any other alternative search engine, there is another way to see the cache: Web Archive. It is an organization that collects saved copies of websites and their various media (images, videos, etc). Its objective is to provide a free long-term archive. Web Archive saves all copies of websites, even the oldest ones (it is possible to find some archives dating back 20 years ago). A real time machine!

To do so, go to the Web Archive site and type in the address of the site or page you want to see. You will be presented with a calendar displaying several saved versions by dates. If the page you are looking for has not been archived, Web Archive will tell you that it does not exist.

Find cached versions with Google Cache Checker

Google Cache Checker is a tool developed to know if a page has been indexed by Google. It allows you to know the date of the last visit of a page by the robots. With this information, SEO specialists and website owners can observe the speed of indexing and exploration of pages. They can then adjust their strategy to speed up the indexing process, for example by increasing their number of backlinks. The Google Cache Checker is very easy to use. Submit the URL in the search bar, click on "Start" and wait a few seconds to get your result.


Google Cache can be very useful in some cases. But you have to keep in mind that Google Cache is a feature intended primarily for users and that its ability to create and display snapshots does not impact the ranking of your pages in the SERP.

   Article written by Louis Chevant

Further reading

The complete guide to using the Google Search Console

Google Search Console: free tool provided by Google to analyze the SEO performance of your website.