Gone in 60 Seconds – Find Disappeared Internet Pages

by Ramesh Natarajan on January 25, 2010

disappear

Photo courtesy: aliasgrace

While internet is not as smart as Angelina Jolie to make a website or a webpage disappear in 60 seconds, it still somehow manages to make some of the webpages disappear after a while.

When you come across something interesting over the internet, you may either bookmark it locally or in a social bookmarking site for later use. I’m sure several times you might have seen one of those websites in your bookmark just disappears.

In this article, let us review few methods on how to find a website or a webpage that you’ve bookmarked disappears from the internet.

1. Google Cache for the Rescue

Google caches all the websites that it crawls (except for those website that sets no cache in their robot tag).  So, when a website/URL you are looking for says ‘page not found’, get that page from the google as shown below.

When you know the URL, go to google.com and enter cache:URL as shown below. Please note that there is no space between cache and URL.

Syntax:
cache:URL

For example, go to google.com and enter the following:

cache:http://www.thegeekstuff.com/vim-101-hacks-ebook/

When you are searching for something in google.com,  if a particular link displays page not found message, then click on the cache link in the search result page shown.

Google Cache

Fig: Google Cache link in the search result page

2. Internet Archive – Way back machine.

wayback_logo_smarchive.org, stores several version of a web page. So, you can go and check how a particular website or URL looked like a while back. It currently has more than 150 billion pages.

From archive.org website:

The Internet Archive Wayback Machine is a service that allows people to visit
archived versions of Web sites. Visitors to the Wayback Machine can type in
a URL, select a date range, and then begin surfing on an archived version of
the Web. Imagine surfing circa 1999 and looking at all the Y2K hype, or
revisiting an older version of your favorite Web site. The Internet Archive
Wayback Machine can make all of this possible.

3. Save Web Pages for Offline Use

Scrapbook Fire-fox add-onIf you really like a website / URL that you are visiting, you may probably want to save the page content along with the bookmark.

Scrapbook fire-fox add-on is my personal favorite that I use every day. Scrapbook is mentioned in our earlier 7 Powerful Firefox Bookmark Add-ons article.

There are other web-clipping online services, which allows you to clip full or part of the website, organize the content you’ve clipped, assign tags etc., — icyte, clipmarks and evernote are few of them.

4. Automatically Display Cache Links inside 404 Page Not Found

Errorzilla is a fire-fox add-on that will automatically display links to Google Cache, archive.org — when you hit “page not found”.

errorzilla

Fig: Useful error page by ErrorZilla


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kasi Viswanath January 25, 2010 at 2:31 am

Good Post. Especially the last add-on. Surely will check it out!!

2 Neal February 1, 2010 at 6:54 am

first 2 are very usefuly,
would be cool if you just search for all links from your page, and save them to hard drive, later when you check for broken links, these sites are on hard drive

3 Ramesh Natarajan February 2, 2010 at 1:26 am

@Kasi,

Yeah. Errorzilla is very helpful. It also doesn’t impact browser performance, as it will be invoked only when the page is not found.

@Neal,

Scrapbook firefox add-on does similar to what you’ve requested.

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