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Google’s Cache Feature Improved By User Script

By January 6, 2011 May 29th, 2016 Tips & Tricks

When looking at search results in Google, you may have noticed a link titled “Cached” that appears alongside most results.

In Google search results, a link titled "Cached" can typically be seen right next to the URL.

Here’s how Google explains the feature:

Google takes a snapshot of each page examined as it crawls the web and caches these as a back-up in case the original page is unavailable. If you click on the “Cached” link, you will see the web page as it looked when we indexed it. The cached content is the content Google uses to judge whether this page is a relevant match for your query.

Whenever I encounter a search result that isn’t loading when clicked, I try using the “Cached” link. As Google warns, it isn’t necessarily up to date, but it usually reveals what I need: the content that made the page a relevant search result. As great as this feature is, if you click on any of the links within the cached page, Google will automatically try to load the live version, not the cache. If you’re accessing the cache because the site is down, this will likely fail.

Fortunately, I recently read a post on Lifehacker that solves the above problem through the use of a user script called Google Cache Continue Redux. Once installed, it will make a button appear next to all links, when you’re viewing a cached page. This allows you to keep browsing in cached mode, if desired, making the cache feature all that more powerful.

Example output of the Google Cache Continue Redux user script. Shows a yellow button that says "cache" in red along with every link.

To install the script within Google Chrome, simply visit the page and click “Install”. With Firefox, the same approach is possible; however, you first have to install the Greasemonkey plugin, and restart the browser. Opera supports user scripts as well, but the instructions are a bit longer, so I suggest looking at their documentation.