Google’s caching of websites and pages appears to be broken
News Courtesy of SearchEngineLand.com:
What is the caching date issue?
In the last week, I’ve been looking at this in more detail and found that most sites have a cache date of April 9 or 10. Those are sites from different verticals, so it doesn’t seem that it’s industry specific. I have also asked around in the SEO community and everyone sees the same thing.
Funnily enough, that coincides with the time when Google fixed the indexing issue bug. Is it possible that something else was knocked off in the process?
The main benefit from clicking on the cached version of a webpage is to get information when a website is down. Unlike The Wayback Machine which saves captures of pages on various dates indefinitely, Google’s caching system strives to get the most up to date version of a page. This is helpful to recover information that might have been inadvertently deleted or changed. Sure, WordPress has a revision system which can roll back pages from certain save points. However, if all your looking for is a block of text, it might be easier to view cached pages than undo an entire version of a post or a page.
One concern brought to light by Search Engine Land was the observation that rich snippet data wasn’t updating either. They mentioned a review schema that was listed for a particular site’s review page on Google. The last time that review page was captured was way back in early April. Since then, many more reviews have been written and should have been reflected in the rich snippet. Unfortunately, Google is still showing the outdated cached page’s data for that rich snippet. I can imagine how frustrating that would be for webmasters who put a lot of effort to ensure that the schema is working properly for SEO purposes.
It’s not just small websites with little traffic that are affected. Large corporate and media websites also have their cached pages stuck on April 8th-10th. I was curious to see the new pages for my websites that have been indexed and what their cache results are. After testing several of these pages, the dreaded “404. That’s an error” message is displayed. This would lead me to believe that caching is not working at all for new pages indexed after April 10th.
This bug isn’t as devastating as the deindexing issue that happened last month. After all, if your website is up and running there is no reason for normal visitors to click on the cached version of a page. The main concern is that rich snippet data isn’t being reflected to current or recent dates. Hopefully, Google gets this sorted out quickly.