Note: This blog post is from 2017. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Have you ever had a web site "go dark" on you? or found that a given page on a site somehow disappeared? Maybe it's only temporary (there may even be a "we're down" message, though the site or server may just fail to respond at all), or maybe the failure of the page or site will be permanent.
The good news is that there are at least two easy ways that you may well still be able to see that content you may be missing:
- the Google cache (to at least see the last version which Google may have cached)
- the internet archive "wayback machine", which often lets you see YEARS back in the history of a page or entire site, including one that may be long-gone.
- and still another couple of options
Try putting either cache: or web.archive.org/ in front of the URL of whatever page you're trying to visit, as in:
to perhaps see years of archived versions of a page/site.
Or to see any Google snapshot of the most recent cached version of a page, use this in a Google search,
Either may or may not work, for various reasons I explain below. And note that this works for domain names or individual web page URLs. You may find that it also works with or without the protocol (http:// or https://), but try using it the other way if one does not work.
For much more, read on, as I share tips (and gotchas) on using both tools.