Google has retired preview links for cached pages. The old function, useful mainly for slow connections, allowed users to load a web page in the format in which the search engine recognized them.
The end of the function was announced on X, formerly Twitter, on February 1st. Yes, it has been removed,” confirmed a Google spokesperson. “The goal was to help people access pages when, in the past, you often couldn't trust a page to load. Nowadays, things have improved a lot, so we decided to retire it,” he added.
Hey, catching up. Yes, it's been removed. I know, it's sad. I'm sad too. It's one of our oldest features. But it was meant for helping people access pages when way back, you often couldn't depend on a page loading. These days, things have greatly improved. So, it was decided to…
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 1, 2024
Currently, instead of helping pages load faster, the feature was often used as a backup for web pages. The function was used to validate a website, check SEO errors, or check if a page had been modified.
Before being removed, the link to the cached page was available in the three-dot menu positioned next to each link. Now, the section only presents information from Wikipedia about the site in question.
New search feature on the way
In place of the link to the cached page, Google intends to include a shortcut to the Internet Archive. The company has not mentioned when this will happen.
However, the Internet Archive pages do not meet the same proposal. Additionally, the addition would significantly increase the flow of people through the project.
For now, the proposal still needs to be approved. “To be clear, it is something [a adição do link para o Internet Archive] which I personally think would be a good thing to do, but not something we would do without an agreement that they also found valuable in some way,” the spokesperson said.