Have you noticed that Google’s cached link is missing?

Paging new CEO Larry Page. Please don’t fix what isn’t broken.

Larry Page in 2010
photo: Jakub Mosur

I have no idea why Google moved the handy Cached link from beside each result to Google’s annoying “page preview” display. Maybe Larry just wanted to change something to announce himself. Oh well, not every software update is an improvement.

Here’s a lively discussion of this Google “improvement”. One poster puts it simply:

“To make such basic functionality as this depend on client-side scripting is appallingly bad web design.

To make it worse there isn’t the slightest hint of justification for removing the original simple, easy, convenient link on the results page and replacing it with this dysfunctional, awkward and pointless method.”

Like this poster, I generally use Noscript to stop Javascript from executing on Google pages, but the Cached link now resides on the page preview, so I won’t see it unless I allow the obnoxious page preview to slow me down. What a mess. Viewing cached pages was so easy, before mid-September. I hope that Google returns the Cached link to its former placement on the Search Results page.

In the meantime, I’m trying http://www.yandex.com, a Russian search engine. It’s surprisingly good, with a clean user interface INCLUDING CACHED LINKS like Google of bygone days.

What’s your opinion?

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695
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12 thoughts on “Have you noticed that Google’s cached link is missing?”

  1. Yeah, this burns me too. I liked the highlighting on a cached page that would allow me to easily find my search terms. Also, it allowed me to view some pages that I know would leave a zillion cookies on my computer if I clicked on the page.

    I read somewhere that Google wanted to get the “page view” counts up for site owners. That sort of makes sense for them, but for those of us doing searches, it’s the pits. I think that Google is now vulnerable — if any other search engine had this easy-to-use function, I’d switch to it in a heartbeat and I know many others would as well.

    I am using Bing a little more because it cuts out some of the useless results that Google searches deliver, and they’re stratified differently. Lately Google results seem to be very slanted towards certain websites that tend to NOT be relevent to my searches. A search yielding 2 million results may sound like a good thing until you actually try to go through them. A smaller, more relevent yield is much easier to work with.

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    1. Have you tried yandex?

      The last paragraph of my post: “In the meantime, I’m trying http://www.yandex.com, a Russian search engine. It’s surprisingly good, with a clean user interface INCLUDING CACHED LINKS like Google of bygone days.”

      In general I like Google’s easy to use user interfaces, but this step is in the wrong direction.

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    2. Google continues to change their algorithms. They’ve stated that relative geographical locations of sites will become increasingly important. The results that I see for a given search may be different than the results for the same search phrase that are seen by someone who’s thousands of miles away from me.

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  2. Yahoo search still has a cache link. Unfortunately, it does not appear for all pages. However, even after you click the double arrows to the right, it does not appear on all google pages any more either.

    I read the blog of some “expert” where he opined that Google probably removed it so as not to confuse most users who thought it a useless and confusing link that detracted from the search results. Yeah, right.

    So, for the time being, I’ll use Yahoo search and see how that works. My search bar is loaded with choices via icons that let me select google, bing, ms or yahoo search engines easily.

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  3. from Yahoo:
    Some individual web results don’t have cached links. In these cases, either the search engine hasn’t stored a copy of the page, or the owners of the site have requested that their content not be cached.

    To learn more about search indexing and the Web crawling process, please visit the Indexing and Ranking help pages.
    Please use the following link to learn more about the Yahoo! Search Results Page
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:0zGJAa1vCp0J:help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/search/basics/basics-09.html+cached+pages&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=opera

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  4. Thanks for this article, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a global boycott of Google yet with all these forced-Google changes, like the murderously stupid Google-Instant, non-caching of searched links and other bothersome global irritants that have fundamentally changed the face of the Google user experience, dramatically diminishing its dependability as a reliable search engine.

    I have switched to http://yandex.com/ per your recommendations, and thoroughly enjoying all the features the old Google used to have, but has been missing for some time… Great find, thank you for this article, you’re one of the few who isn’t asleep!!

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  5. Agreed with the above. I haven’t used Google since this article. I am using yahoo mostly and enjoying the caches. I use bing for boolean searches, and also tried yandex.

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