Searching For Old Versions of Web Sites? The Wayback Machine Is New and Improved

Wayback MachineThe Internet Archive was founded in 1996 to “build an internet library” and offers a searchable collection of digital collections. Internet Achive’s Wayback Machine (launched in 2001) has archived web pages going back to 1996, enabling historical snapshots of the web. As ReadWriteWeb notes, the Wayback Machine has just been redesigned and relaunched with a nicer user interface, and more importantly, has been migrated to a new platform as a foundation for further improvements. (The new beta has been launched under a new domain:; the original version is still available at

Using Historical Views of the Web for SEO

The research and academic uses for historical views of the web are endless. But there are search engine optimization benefits as well. Did your shiny new domain used to host viagra spam and is thus on Google’s list of web sites that are naughty rather than nice? Google notes that this is one of the uses of its reconsideration request form: “if you recently purchased a domain that you think may have violated our guidelines before you owned it, you can use the reconsideration request form to let us know that you recently acquired the site and that it now adheres to the guidelines.”

Google’s Matt Cutts used the Wayback Machine during a site review panel at Pubcon in 2009, suggesting that site owners should review the history of domains they own or plan to purchase.

Some of the new features available in the new beta include a calendar view of the snapshots available and a sparklines-style trendline that lets you navigate through time.

Wayback Machine: Google 1998

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Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Search Engines: Academic Search Engines | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. She built Google Webmaster Central and went on to found software and consulting company Nine By Blue and create Blueprint Search Analytics< which she later sold. Her book, Marketing in the Age of Google, (updated edition, May 2012) provides a foundation for incorporating search strategy into organizations of all levels. Follow her on Twitter at @vanessafox.

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  • DrStu

    I have found thewaybackmachine to be very useful when trying to sort out url restructuring implemented on sites without any seo insight initially. We get a call as traffic has dropped. New url’s were created without 301′ing from the old ones. The cache in G’s index didn’t help as had been updated already. Thewaybackmachine gave us a real insight into how the site was set-up originally and was on of a few ways including Analytics that helped us to get the correct 301′s in place

  • Ai song

    Searching “ Wayback Machine”  reach this article, the day before yesterday .

    Write very detailed, very helpful to use, did not expect such usage .

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