If you have ever wondered and wanted to how websites looked in the past, you can by using Wayback Machine. It is an archival tool that is home to a massive collection of archived websites from the past. You can also add websites to Wayback Machine so that anyone can see it later.
Wayback Machine contains more than 370 million web pages and you could find web pages dated back to 1996, so, you are likely to find the website here you had been searching. You can manually archive any web page you want for future access as long as it is not password protected or blocked and the site allows for crawlers. Additionally, you can download files that were present on a live page, which no longer exists. This implies that you can access and download from web pages of a website that was shut down and no longer exists.
By now, you must be intrigued about how to use Wayback Machine. Thankfully, the process is not typical and you can easily use this archival tool.
How To Use Wayback Machine?
Wayback Machine offers several different features, but the most prominent one is the search tool that finds how a website looked in the past. You can use Wayback Machine for two things – view a web page archive and submit a web page to Wayback Machine.
1. How To Use Wayback Machine To View An Archived Web Page?
- Go to the Internet Archive website and visit Wayback Machine.
- Type or paste a URL into the text box of Wayback Machine and search.
- Pick a year from the calendar.
- You will now see that many dates are circled. These dates contain an archive. Choose a date amongst the circled dates.
- Now, you can access the archived web page just like a live page, meaning, you can browse through the website normally, download files, etc.
- If you want to jump to another day for the same website, use the calendar.
2. How To Use Wayback Machine To Submit A Web Page To It?
- Open the Wayback Machine home page.
- You will see a Save New Page dialog box with a text box.
- Paste or type the link into the textbox.
- Now select Save Page.
How To Use Wayback Machine To Improve Your SEO?
View Site Changes
Well, major of the people use Wayback Machine for viewing site changes. You can use Wayback Machine’s snapshots to compare how a site looks like as compared o the past. This way, you can keep a track of when the aspects of a website changed. This way, you can determine what caused the page’s rankings to drop. This will let you understand which changes affected the ranking negatively, and how you can fix the problem.
Find Old Redirect Opportunities
You can use the Wayback Machine to find old URLs that were present on a website at one time, which might require to be redirected after years of changes. This is common on big brands that started online in the 1990s or 2000s, and it is likely that these websites went through huge website relaunches where search engine optimization (SEO) was not considered. However, since links could have been made in the 1990s, you will want to reclaim them.
Familiarize yourself with a web site
When you get a new client, you will want to become acquainted with their website and understand the ins and outs of the client’s brand. Through Wayback Machine, you can see how the website has changed over time and you can achieve a sense of what your client’s brand voice was and how has it altered. You can even question your client on the basis of your findings.
Discover Old URL Structures
A website’s URL structure is sometimes altered and the old structure is neglected over time. This can cause issues when it comes to pulling data. In case you have a generic idea of when the URL structure was changed, you can employ the Wayback Machine to know exactly when the modification occurred and what the previous structure used to be. This could prove to be of great help when a website’s content has been updated or its subfolders have been renamed.
Find Old Content
If you want to find some content that you have lost over time or deleted accidentally, the Wayback Machine could be handy. You just have to look at the web page that had the content at a previous date.
Performing A Market Mix Analysis
Suppose, a paid search did exceedingly well last year but is not yielding similar outcomes even though you have spent more. By taking a look at your landing pages in Wayback Machine, you can determine which combinations from last year resulted in such a great output and imitate the same this year. Similarly, you can even eliminate those combinations that did not yield any benefits.
The Wayback Machine can prove to be a useful tool to help understand what works better for your website. But, the Wayback Machine will not show you every update a website has received and will only show you those modifications that have been saved in it. Few of the limitations are that e-mail and chat websites cannot be saved in the Wayback Machine and you cannot include those websites that are blocked by the Wayback Machine, or private websites protected with passwords.