Thursday, 11 October 2018

How to Fix Google Cache 404 Error? - A Step by Step Guide

Google Cache Returns 404 Error

It's been a while that SEO experts are facing an issue to obtain Google cache pages as Google returns a 404 error! This had certainly created a panic situation where people assumed their website would be deindexed or there could be ranking drops. As confirmed by John Mueller, this is an internal issue with Google Cache server and nothing to do with site rankings (Reference: https://www.seroundtable.com/google-cache-returns-404-error-seo-25565.html)

Guide to obtain Google Cached Pages:

Recently some articles are published with a workaround to obtain cache date of the site pages. One was recently published on Search Engine Roundtable. Here is a link to that article:

Bhumika Kateliya and Sujit Shukla from Logicserve Digital tried their hands on this hack and also tried attempting few more things. Here are their observations in the form of a step by step guide to obtain Google cached pages:-

Taking a random example of https://www.reliancemutual.com/

The cached version returns Google's 404 error page as shown below:-

Google Cache version returns 404 error

In order to find the last cache date, follow the steps mentioned below:-

Step 1 - Search for the site on Google. Click on 'cached' version.

google cache in search results

Step 2 - You will land on a URL mentioned here:

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4r1EpKB0nuoJ:https://www.reliancemutual.com/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=in

Replace the highlighted part above with x.xyz and hit enter:-

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4r1EpKB0nuoJ:x.xyz

This will provide you the cache version:-

Google cached version

Note - We replaced x.xyz with x.abc or a.xyz, a.abc, t.abc, x.com, x.co.in, google.com, google.co.in, etc and it worked. It seems xyz can be replaced by first or last sequence of three letters or domain names/domain extensions. But it didn't work for random letter sequences that didn't form a domain name (example x.suv, x.coin or a.lmn)

Another Option:

In case you are trying to find cache of a particular URL that ends with a trailing slash (say a homepage or an internal page), just remove the slash to obtain the cached version of that page.

Remove trailing slash (highlighted in red) from the URL and hit enter:

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4r1EpKB0nuoJ:https://www.reliancemutual.com/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=in

You will obtain the cached version.

Another example - Remove the trailing slash highlighted in red and hit enter:
https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Uvosi4UHOGcJ:https://peachmode.com/gowns/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=in

You will obtain the cached version.

Hope this is helpful!

Bhumika Kateliya created a draft of this article which was later edited by me. Sujit Shukla also helped us with his valuable inputs here.

- Tejas Thakkar

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