Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cached Pages in Google Search Results

Google has removed the cached page link from the search results page.  Until last week, it used to appear with every link in the search results.  In its place, if you hover your cursor over a search result, you will notice two arrows in a light gray box appear.   

Click on the arrows in the box, and you will see a preview thumbnail of the website along the new location for the link for the cached site.

I use a website cache for many reasons:
  • On cached pates, each search term is highlighted instantly and in a different color making keywords easy to find especially on long pages. 
  • Cached pages load faster. 
  • Cached pages are available for pages that are altered, deleted, hard to load, or firewalled. 
  • Cached pages are available for pages that are updated frequently such as forums, blogs, and news, many times taking me to the page that has moved on that contains the search items.

Once you try using cached pages for the above reasons, you may find them useful, also.

To me, Google's "Instant Preview" of a website is pretty much useless.  It's too slow to load and too small to read except perhaps the title.   I'm always accidently clicking on it - it gets in my way while viewing the search results page.   And with a pop-up blocker turned on or javascript disabled, you may not even be able to see the arrows.  But that is now where you have to get the link to see cached results.

I find the new method to click on the link for cached pages user-unfriendly.  Now, there are two extra steps to use the cached links.  First, you must hover over the result to make the arrows appear and then click on the instant preview arrows and wait for the "instant preview" to appear (which on my computer isn't always instant). Then click on the cached link.  Much more time consuming to get a link for something I consider very useful and necessary. 

I'm sorry to see Google making such user-unfriendly decisions recently - see Google Removes the + Search Operator.  The great search results and interface simplicity are what drew me to Google years ago.  Cached pages are one thing that makes Google unique - Bing and Yahoo don't have links for cached pages.

Google is always on a quest for greater search speed hence Google Instant  which shows results as you type and Google says takes 2 to 5 seconds off each search.  It surprises me that they would then make two changes  in one week that makes things slower on the user end.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Cached pages are also useful if you have a redirect virus. (Until you can get the pc to your repair person.)