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Cached Pages and Gigablast

This post is dedicated to Sassy Lawyer, who has said, "sana nga i can find the 'Scrap the VFA' and the 'Dissecting the anti-terror bill' entries," and all those who have lost or might lose a page or more of their web archives in the future.
Sassy Lawyer lost more than two years worth of her archives over the holidays, recovered most of it with the help of her many friends, but gave up on her posts between 17 August 2005 and 17 December 2005. Recently, however, Basangpanaginip came up with bits and pieces—in some cases, entire posts with comments—of the missing posts by searching Yahoo! and MSN and linking to the cached pages.

If you, like most people, ignore the word "cached" (see word encircled in image below) when you use search engines, think again.

sassy lawyer's scrap the vfaA cached page is the "snapshot" taken by search engines of a web page. Search engines use these snapshots to index websites. Clicking on the word "cached" may be necessary when a particular page is not available for various reasons—like the host is temporarily down... or the blogger lost her files by mistake.

Not all search engines, however, provide access to cached pages. In fact, just in case you are not aware of it, not all search engines are the same. Some index only certain pages and different search engines will, of course, come up with different results. And this is why experienced searchers will use more than one search engine. Some even recommend particular search engines for specific needs.

(Search engines like Google, Yahoo! and MSN provide access to cached pages. But why is it that Sassy Lawyer's cached pages were found only on Yahoo! and MSN, and not Google? Well, Sassy Lawyer has said that she tagged her posts "nocache," and so she was surprised that Yahoo! and MSN had cached her pages. This only further reinforces the truth that search engines behave differently.)

Finally, there are other search engines. Yes, in case you didn't understand that the first time, there are other search engines. One of them is Gigablast, whose Blog Search is in beta right now. Yes, it provides access to cached pages. And yes, Sassy Lawyer's posts on "Scrap the VFA" (Page 1 2 3 4 5 Comments) and "Dissecting the anti-terror bill" (Page 1 2 3 Comments) are still available on Gigablast. Unfortunately, not all the pages were cached.

But clicking on "cached" and using Gigablast—and other search engines—may be a way of recovering inaccessible or "lost" pages.

Category: Internet

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