Besides, Google cache can also be used as a proxy server to bypass office and school firewalls or access sites which are blocked in your area, restricted for registered-only users (but visible to search engines), etc. Using Google cache will also allow you to browse your competitors’ sites without leaving any trace of you being there (for that, you will need to use Google’s “Text only” version of the page).
I for one use Google cache on a daily basis and have collected a few useful tools to make the most of it. But before we take a closer look at those tools, let me note the following:
- Not all webpages are available in Google cache. Savvy website owners may choose not to allow Google to archive their webpages by using the NOARCHIVE Robots meta tag;
- All of the below tools are userscripts. I’ve tested them all in FireFox with Greasemonkey installed. If you use Opera, Google Chrome, Safari or IE, you should be able to still use the scripts but I didn’t try them there.
So here you go: how to make the most of Google cache browsing with the following userscripts:
Browse Google Cache
If you start using Google cache, the fist thing you will notice is that it won’t let you stay for long: whenever you click any link, it will bring you outside of the cached page to the actual website. If you plan to use Google cache often, you may want to have an option to stay within it when browsing the whole website.
If you want to browse the website from within Google cache without ever leaving it, you will need either of the following scripts:
(Note: as I have noted above, some pages may be absent in Google cache which means that sometimes you’ll end up landing on Google’s error messages).
1. Google Cache Continue Redux
This script adds yellow “cache” links next to each page link within Google’s snapshot of the page. Clicking the yellow cache link opens the Google cache version of the page, allowing the user to continue browsing the site through Google’s cache.
Does it keep the initial search terms highlighted? – Yes!
2. Google Cache Browser
This script (or this identical one) replaces the links on a cached page for Google cache links – this way you can continuously browse the website from within Google cache just like Google Cache Continue Redux but with no formatting used for Google cache links (and also giving you thus fewer options: with it, you can’t easily leave Google cache by clicking off the actual link).
Does it keep the initial search terms highlighted? – No
Easily Scan Through The Page Cache
1. Google Cache Highlights Browser
This script makes Google cache keyboard-friendly. It creates two hotkeys (“n” for “next” and “b” for “previous”) that will automatically scroll through highlighted search words on a Google cache page:
2. Google Cache Mapper (Text-Only Version)
This script adds a virtual scrollbar to the left of the screen that provides a quick way to find highlighted terms on a Google cached page. Google highlights your search terms using different colors and this script visualizes the matches.
You can hover over any part of the scrollbar to see the search term and its immediate context. You can then click through the different colors in the scrollbar to go to any search term occurrence:
Do you use Google cache a lot? Please share your tips and tricks!