How to Recover Old Web Pages
By David Sarokin
Old websites don't die. They don't even fade away. Instead, many of them wind up stored in various nooks and crannies of the Internet and can be retrieved later on, if you know where to look. With a few tricks, you can find archived and cached copies of old web pages.
Check the WayBack Machine. The Internet Archive, affectionately known as the WayBack Machine to many users, keeps a running record of more than 150 billion web pages on the Internet, from as far back as 1996. Just enter the url you are looking for, and the Internet Archive will display any stored pages it has for that address.
Check Google's cache. Google has the largest index of web pages of any search engine, and keeps a cached version of recently-retrieved pages. The caches are anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks old. Use the search syntax "cache:" to retrieve old copies. For example, a search on "cache:ehow.com" will retrieve cached web pages from eHow.
Try Yahoo Search and Bing. Other search engines may display a cached page, even when Google does not. Try a search on the url name, and then click on the "cache" under the main search listing. For example, a Yahoo or Bing search on "ehow.com" will display a live link to eHow, but will also include a link to an older cached page of the site.
David Sarokin is a well-known specialist on Internet research. He has been profiled in the "New York Times," the "Washington Post" and in numerous online publications. Based in Washington D.C., he splits his time between several research services, writing content and his work as an environmental specialist with the federal government. David is the author of Missed Information (MIT Press, 2016), a book exploring how better information can lead to a more sustainable future.