Every once in a while, you want something that is no longer available online. Most times it’s a page or site you thought you’d saved, or you bookmarked, but has run it’s course and been taken down or replaced with other content. I came across just such a situation a couple of months ago while looking for some affiliate training I thought was decent that I wanted to send someone.
Today, I’m going to show you two ways to get to that old content, or at least give you a shot at getting to it.
Method #1 – Google Cache
The first thing to try is looking for the content in Google Cache. Simply do a search for what you’re after, the more specific the better such as page name, site domain, URL, etc. When the results come up, see if there is a Cached version such as what is shown to the right.
If a Cached result shows up, click it and see if it’s what you’re after. Oftentimes the navigation and whatnot will be in tact.
I’m not sure how long Cached results are kept. I’m guessing it depends on the popularity of the content, how often changes were made, type and size of content, etc.
Method #2 – Archive.org
If the Google Cache results don’t yield what you’re after, another option is checking for the content on Archive.org. On the site, in the center of the page, you’ll find the WayBackMachine. According to the site, 150 billion pages are archived there. Plug in the address of the site you’re looking for content from and you’ll be presented with a range of dates showing different snapshots of the site content over time.
What’s available here is a crap shoot, however it has come in pretty handy a number of times. You can use this site to check out domains you’re thinking of purchasing to see what kind of content were previously offered on them, look at old versions of your site for fun, or retrieve old content such as we’re doing here.
Just click on one of the dates to see what the site looked like at that point in time.
One little tip. If you’re looking for content that was previously password protected or hidden, as I was, with a little investigative work looking into the URL structure, you can oftentimes get to the content since most of the scripts used to protect the content will no longer be in use. Doesn’t always work, but I’ve been able to dig up old content with some trial and error searching of specific URLs.
There you have it. If you’re looking for old content, there’s a couple of ways to try and find it.