GOOGLE users have been left devastated after the tech giants announced they are shutting down a major search button.
The beloved tool was one of the oldeston Google before bosses made the “sad” decision to axe it all together.
The bold move to remove links to page caches from Google search results was met with a number of upset people – with one even saying, “this truly sucks”.
Google’s search liaison Danny Sullivan confirmed the disappointing news on X, formerly known as Twitter, after he was asked about the cache feature.
He wrote: “Yes, it’s been removed. I know, it’s sad. I’m sad too. It’s one of our oldest features.
“It was meant for helping people access pages when way back, you often couldn’t depend on a page loading.
“These days, things have greatly improved. So, it was decided to retire it.”
The cache feature was a very useful tool in the past as it allowed users to look at a website in the exact same way as how Google saw it – giving you a whole load more information.
It also acted as a clever tool to help you view a webpage when it was struggling to load.
But more recently, the cache feature was used by SEO professionals and journalists to help debug their sites and keep an eye on what their competitors were doing.
Plus, it was a helpful tool for reporters when they were investigating a new story as it gave them the ability to see exactly what a company was doing to their website.
You could see what had been added or removed from a website which meant figuring out the truth in some cases and finding out things that had seemingly been wiped from the internet.
Google’s cache was also a great alternative to a VPN.
Bitterly disappointed Google users left their responses under Sullivan’s tweet.
One said: “This was a very useful feature, especially for SEOs. Another one of Google’s useful tools/features bites the dust.”
As a second wrote: “Nooooo. Google is removing its cache links in search results. Incredibly frustrating.
“This is such a useful tool for journalism, particularly finding old information/research on sites that are no longer active.”
A third said: “It just became a lot easier to hide your bad activity or mistakes… the Google cache link is going away. This truly sucks.”
“Major shame, Google Cache links were incredibly useful,” said one more X user.
Before a final disgruntled user reminded others that there are alternatives out there to retrace webpages but was still sad by the news.
They wrote: “Google Cache is being retired, which is a real shame for journalists, researchers and anyone else who had an interest in finding information from sites that are no longer active.
“There are alternatives, but they’re not as comprehensive.”
How could you access cache webpages?
You could access a Google page’s cache through a number of different routes in the past.
There was a “Cached” button along the bottom of the “About this result” panel that could be found when you clicked on the three button menu drop-down sittingto the search result bar.
Or you could stick “cache:” in front of your URL search for it to instantlyinto action and launch you into the cached version that Google sees.
Despite only just being officially confirmed as axed, the cache links have been rumoured to be on their last legs for a while.
Back in 2021, Google developer relations engineer Martin Splitt called the cached viewer page a “basically unmaintained legacy feature”.