Google Cache Screwy?

Aug 25, 2010 • 8:14 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A HighRanking Forums thread has many senior (old timer) SEOs complaining about the Google Cache. Let me quote one of my favorite online SEO personalities, "OldWelshGuy":

Something is really wrong with the Google cache reporting or caching system. OK of late (last 6 months or more) there are times when you check a cache and there is no cache (or reason not to be cached), but that has been rare. Now it is all over the place, with many sites reporting cache reporting having stopped mysteriously at August 12th or just before.

Oddly though the reality and the reporting is different. e.g.

One site on a site search is reporting 3 pages (there are 4) one of the pages was renamed and no redirect put in place, but it is not showing on a site: search. here is the thing though. go to the page, check the cache using the toolbar, and there it is showing as cached. I thought this was unique, but it isn't.

His complaints don't go unheard. Jill Whalen the owner of HighRankings replied saying, "Yep. It's pretty crazy. You can't believe much of anything you see at Google anymore."

Moderator, Qwerty said:

I've noticed lately that the "cached" link on the SERP for a site: search isn't working. When the link ought to point to, it's inserting a string of gobbledegook to create a URL like, which goes to a page saying the search didn't match any documents. Pull the "hV2MVz1GswkJ:" out of the URL, and there's the cached copy of the page.

Some suspect it is caffeine related, while others are not sure.

Have you noticed these issues?

Forum discussion at HighRanking Forums.

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08/25/2010 12:47 pm

yes i noticed these issues basically with all the new sites that i own personally. i would like to share with you also an observation that i talked about it on webmasterworld here the 12th of august too :)


08/27/2010 05:12 pm

Since Caffeine, the cache is managed by some homebrewed MD5 algo. The URL doesn't mean anything anymore. Seems like named entity is a growing concept within Google. No surprises it bugs out.


09/01/2010 03:50 pm

I first noticed this on 28th August and have already had clients ask where their page has gone. From what I can see there doesn't appear to be much discrimination, even the BBC homepage doesn't have a cache at the time of writing:

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