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No more cache links in Google SERPs?

     
8:44 pm on Sep 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Looks like G has done away with the cache links, tbh they were pretty redundant. This is logged in/out/cookies cleared/multiple browsers.
8:58 pm on Sept 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Dave - I added a question mark to the thread title, because I'm still seeing cache links... also logged in/out/etc.
9:11 pm on Sept 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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looks the same here on my end - no cache link.

I liked those links and now it's more work to see what I sometimes want
9:19 pm on Sept 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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no cache link
not here as well in the UK - result of senate hearing secret agreement re scrapping ? wierd
9:26 pm on Sept 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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also shows block all results from example.com - even if not logged into a Google account
10:01 pm on Sept 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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On a mobile phone browser they're on a dropdown.

On a PC I still see them in the same place.
10:16 pm on Sept 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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For me the cache link is still there.
10:48 pm on Sept 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Still seeing the cached links for local, national and product-specific (both business and consumer) search terms.
11:09 pm on Sept 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I dont see any cache link either in Australian serp result..

edited: if you click on the preview you will see the cache link there
11:24 pm on Sept 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Mouse over to the right hand side ( where the "preview" magnifying glass used to be ) then you'll get a "double arrow"..and a preview window at 400px* wide ..and above it links for "cache" ( if "available" ) or "preview"..

That is on US results ..began about 22.00 hours CET for me..

French Google ( Google.fr) still is using the old cache ( below serp entry )if "available" ..and the new "double arrow" instead of the magnifying glass for preview..

Even with my cookies set to "no instant" ( confirmed in "Google prefs" at top right ) the cookie is being over ridden /ignored.."instant" is now being "forced" to me ..on both Google.com US DCs and Google.fr.."preview" is "auto on" ..on both ..no magnifying glass ..no click required ..just let the mouse go to the right hand side and "preview" fires.

* at 400px wide ( same as most phone resolution ) I can read almost all the text ( size 12pt or 14pt..which is "average size for most pages "body content" ) on every page on any site ( mine or anyone elses ) with no difficulty ..in "preview"..

I have no need to actually "visit" most sites now..and these are "older eyes"..

This is "not logged in"..standard surfer mode IME.
11:42 pm on Sept 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yep, they've been moved to inside the preview windows.
12:22 am on Sept 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Seeing it now (in northern California). The Cached link has been moved to the inside top of the preview window, along with the Similar link.
12:26 am on Sept 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I see cache, I'd love to see it gone, would be huge ;)
6:06 pm on Sept 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I see cache, I'd love to see it gone, would be huge

incrediBILL - I like to use the cache as a competitive research tool, so I'd miss it. I know one of your big concerns about it, though, is that it's an easy backdoor for scrapers.

I'm wondering whether the new setup makes automated scraping harder. There are a few more clicks, at any rate, which I assume have to be manual.
6:30 pm on Sept 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'm still seeing them (New York)
6:49 pm on Sept 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I know one of your big concerns about it, though, is that it's an easy backdoor for scrapers.


Actually, my biggest concern has always been it's more face time on Google, less face time on our sites, more ad opportunity for Google, less ad opportunity for us.

The scraper rallying cry is just another logical reason for others to use NOARCHIVE because they don't seem to be concerned about losing site face time and ad revenue but are more worried about being copied - DOH!
7:38 pm on Sept 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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They disappeared with me in the UK this afternoon, no idea how long they've been like that but it's not there in any of my 6 browsers.
1:48 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Leosghost wrote:
* at 400px wide ( same as most phone resolution ) I can read almost all the text ( size 12pt or 14pt..which is "average size for most pages "body content" ) on every page on any site ( mine or anyone elses ) with no difficulty ..in "preview"..

I have no need to actually "visit" most sites now..and these are "older eyes"..

Old or not, you've got same darn good eyes if you can easily read the text on those preview images...

--
Ryan
4:52 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Old or not, you've got same darn good eyes if you can easily read the text on those preview images...


Actually, the moment I found the cache links missing, I went straight to the preview to find them there. The obvious reason being that is the place where you will see it on Bing and I expected the "innovative" Google to do the same.

So now that FB has a few things new, it is a matter of time before we find them on the "innovative" google+.
5:00 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've been seeing this new layout off and on for a week. I PM'd Robert Charlton about it at the time but then it disappeared. Maybe they're testing to see how users interact with it.

Just like the OP, I also thought the cache had disappeared. The flyout preview thingy isn't intuitive nor obvious enough to know that it's there.
5:29 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The flyout preview thingy isn't intuitive nor obvious enough to know that it's there.

It is nearly identical in implementation and look to the one Bing uses...barring the pre loaded instant preview always on bandwidth sucking part.

@Ryan..I probably do ..my real /original line is artwork / sculpture, and associated stuff..a lot of it very highly detailed..I can read 10px at a over a metre away ..always could ..only now with age the newspaper needs to be on the floor at least for me to read it ;-)..but your licence plate can be 50 metres away and I can read it clearly..I suppose I should consider myself fortunate... I have to remember that when making websites "use at least 12px" :)..But I think preview at 400px is too big for most sites
9:27 pm on Sept 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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A note about cache. The way to make cache links moot in Google is with the noarchive directive.

<meta name="robots" content="noarchive" />

Fact: according to a 2007 internal Google document given to quality raters Google will rate your site based on the google cache copy if for whatever reason your page doesn't load. Since Google's cache may very well be outdated when they go looking it's probably best to make sure there is no Google cache.

Snippets from the document - instructions for google's quality raters. (emphasis mine)

#1 - It's nice to know someone is worrying about your ratings and hard work.
Please go with your best judgment and do not worry too much about rationalizing every single rating decision

#2 - It's nice to know you'll get the benefit of the doubt for that hard work.
Sometimes you may feel unsure which of two ratings to give: Relevant or Useful? Not Relevant or Relevant? When you are unsure, select the lower rating.

#3 - About cache and how it's used to rate your content, or sometimes content on Google instead.
IMPORTANT: When to rate live vs. cache:
If live page loads . Rate the live page .
If live doesnít load, but cache loads . Rate the cache page .
If neither cache nor live page loads . Rating is Didnít Load .


So, if we follow the same logic, when we're not sure about Google cache we should ensure it's not used. Legal Disclaimer: I do not have a copy of this pdf document, it is freely available online and I found it posted in a public place. I have copied snippets under fair use for the purpose of discussion in a public forum only and do not claim copyright(though I do hope it's seriously outdated by now).

Moderator's note. Link to 2007 Google Quality Rater Guidelines in this thread.... [webmasterworld.com...]

P.S. the way to stop seeing seemingly random tests is to stop using Google. A recent google engineer video states that 2.5% of results are in fact a test.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:40 pm (utc) on Sep 24, 2011]
[edit reason] added link [/edit]

12:28 am on Sept 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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i've been meaning to ask this of folk who use no archive

How does a search engine rank your content without a cached copy ?

I am fairly certain they don't crawl the whole web for each query


Or are the visible cache separate from the content "searched" for each query ?

any guesses ?
12:39 am on Sept 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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How does a search engine rank your content without a cached copy ?

Very nicely ..Thankyou ;-)
1:01 am on Sept 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Actually, my biggest concern has always been it's more face time on Google, less face time on our sites, more ad opportunity for Google, less ad opportunity for us.
That's the common thread that ties everything about Google since 2007-2008 when their natural growth stopped. They want people to start previewing site after site and maybe they'll click on ad instead. There isn't much more left to rig, one more Panda and the Senate might very well call the algo team so they try these tricks, each designed to send us less and less click.

Maybe an interstitial after clicking on our site link:

Are you sure you want to go there and not check these wonderful ads of ours?
4:33 pm on Sept 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Or are the visible cache separate from the content "searched" for each query ?

Yes, most definitely. The publicly visible cache is taken from a dedicated set of servers and is quite often not even "in step" with the most recently crawled and evaluated version of the URL.
4:35 pm on Sept 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Where does the preview image come from?

That's not in step with the cached copy either. The preview image can be many months old.
6:27 pm on Sept 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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>>i've been meaning to ask this of folk who use no archive

they still analyse the page and store the data (however they do that) but they do not show the cached copy in SERPs
9:00 pm on Sept 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Where does the preview image come from?

That's not in step with the cached copy either. The preview image can be many months old.

From an entirely different UA, which mercifully calls itself Google Web Preview so you can block it by name.

Unless you meant the "preview" in wmt. There the ostensible preview is what the Googlebot sees, and the "real" site is what the previewbot sees.
9:09 pm on Sept 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The preview mode run from WMT pretends to be Safari, but includes the Google Web Preview text within the UA too.
 

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