General Question

Berserker's avatar

What does it mean when a website is ''cached''?

Asked by Berserker (33475points) April 30th, 2010

I know this is probably simple, but I really know nothing about computers, how the Internet works or any of its terminology. So I’m all lost now.
The problem is a website I usually go to, but for two days now it says the address isn’t valid. I’m guessing it crashed or something, but when I google search it, it always says cached for every result. Does this have anything to do with anything?
And now I’m not gonna Google it so shup foo.
Joking. :p—And thanks for thy time.

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5 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

On older version of the site is stored on google’s servers, which you can access.

Berserker's avatar

Every time I click on it it doesn’t let me.

njnyjobs's avatar

If you actually click on the word “Cached” next to the website address, it will bring you to Google’s website where it will show a “cached” page or a snapshot of the page as it appeared on the worldwide web at an earlier time.

Read Google’s Cached Links for more information.

Glow's avatar

I always like to think of it this way:

It’s a website that some one ‘catched’ and can show me later…

silly I know!

roundsquare's avatar

I’ll try to explain for a simple computer first. Computers have various kinds of “memory.” When an engineer is building a computer, they need to balance speed and cost. Faster memory is more costly, so you can’t have too much of it.

E.g. your hard drive is the slowest memory of your computer, but since its so cheap, you can have a lot of it, hence the 300+ GB hard drives.

Ram is faster, but you can’t get several hundred GB’s out of it at a reasonable cost, hence there is less of it.

And there are faster, more expensive types of memory in your computer.

If someone is writing a program that uses a certain piece of information very often, it would be useful to keep it in the fast memory instead of the slow memory. Think of it like doing work in a library. If you need to reference one book very often, you keep it with you at your desk. But you only have so much desk space, so you can’t keep everything with you. So you have to decide which books to keep at your desk, and which to leave in the shelves.

The information that is kept in fast memory for later use is called “cached.”

Now for google. Google is so great because it has programs constantly crawling around the internet and getting the information necessary to do searches. So it goes to various websites, downloads the information on that site, and analyzes all the information so that when you type in a search, it can use that analysis right away. This is critical to how google works.” If, instead, it waited for a search, then went around, downloading information and doing the analysis, it would take *forever to get search results.

When it downloads each website, it needs to keep the information on its computers. If it didn’t, the analysis would be slow.

So, now lets say a website goes down. You click the google link and get back nothing. But, google already has the website on its computers. Of course, the information it has might be a bit old (since it only downloads websites periodically) but in many cases, thats better than nothing. So google offers to let you see what it has on its computers. Very nice of them :)

In other words, it lets go you into their cache of websites and view the “cached” version.

Sorry for the long reply, but figured it could be useful to some people.

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