Mediaworks

Google’s cache is a website auditing tool that can be used to check important factors that could impact your performance in search.

Accessing Google’s cache

It is easy to access Google’s cache. All you need to do is click on the green arrow positioned to the right of the URL in the snippet.

Mediaworks Google cache

Alternatively, you can reach the cache of an URL with this template: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.mydomain.co.uk/

If a framebreaker is preventing the pop-up from appearing, or you can’t find the desired page on the results pages, alter the following address:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:www.mydomain.co.uk&sa=X&biw=1920&bih=1019&noj=1&strip=1

Google’s cache date

The first thing to check once you have accessed this data is the date when Google last crawled your site. If it has been a while since the bots analysed your site, this could be an indication of infrequent crawling — something that can have a negative impact on your SEO strategy, as newer content isn’t being indexed and shown to searchers.

Google cache time

However, if there is a section of your site that is updated regularly, such as your blog, the bots will visit your site more often. Make sure to share the links on social media so Google becomes aware of the updates.

Non-crawlable links

Search engine spiders can easily crawl HTML links with the usual syntax <a href=”Destination URL”>Anchor Text</a>. However, it’s not so easy for them to follow links from a flash animation, like those created by JavaScript, or those based within a frame.

Non-crawlable links act as walls that don’t let bots reach as deep as they should and, as a result, they will affect how your site is indexed.

You can easily find non-crawlable links through a text version of Google’s cache. If the number of links shown does not correspond with the number of links you know the page actually has, it’s a tell-tale sign of problems.

To count the links and see their destinations, use Chris Pederick’s Web Developer plug-in tool and select ‘View Link Information’.

Chris Pedrick Web Developer plug-in

 

Mediaworks homepage links

JavaScript links are easy to identify as they have a URL syntax that differs from the usual http:mydomain.com. Instead, they will show a destination script along the lines of javascript:ProductVew(356).

You should try to change JavaScript menus to HTML or CSS, and substitute Flash menus with HTML.

Non-crawlable text and images

Search engines need text for indexing. That’s why you should avoid including important content — like product descriptions — within images or Flash. However, pictures can become crawlable with the help of descriptive text in the alt attribute.

A few more recommendations when it comes to publishing text on your website are:

  • Avoid using text containing links and relevant content within an image for menus and headings.
  • Use HTML text within heading tags, as this will help make your content topic more relevant.
  • For menus that use scripts or Flash that don’t appear in the text version of Google’s cache, try reprogramming them into drilling down menus with text links and rollover effects through CSS instead of JavaScript.
  • If design needs force us to use text embed within images, all the pictures from the navigation menu should include an alt attribute. This has to be used as the anchor text. Clarification about the link destination can be made within the title attribute of the link itself.
  • Links that point to the most important sections of your website should be in HTML.
  • Ensure there is no hidden text appearing in your cache but not on the actual webpage.

In conclusion, there is a lot of valuable information that can be extracted from Google’s cache. By fixing all issues gathered from this extraction, there is a good chance you will see your site’s indexation and thus results page ranking improve.

 

Have any questions about Google’s cache? Don’t hesitate to contact us.

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