As it tends to do, TechCrunch got yet another “breaking” scoop — this time about Facebook Deals based on an article in the New York Times. The news actually seems to have been embargoed and has since been deleted from nytimes.com, but TechCrunch cited the URL of the article anyway — http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/latest-rival-to-groupon-livingsocial-facebook-embargo-till-midnight (seriously, the URL included embargo-till-midnight). TechCrunch posted bits and pieces of the “breaking” news from the deleted article, but readers were left without the actual source.
If you know how to find a Web page that has been deleted using Google Cache, you can find virtually any post that gets taken down. By using the Google Cache, you can often find Web sites — including blog posts — that have been deleted, even if they were only live for a few hours. As long as Google indexed the page, it will appear in the Google Cache for some amount of time. To use the Google Cache to find deleted content, you can either use the address bar in Google Chrome or via Google.com. You will also need to know the original URL of the content that has since been deleted.
Using the address bar in Google Chrome, simply type in cache:URL, with the URL being the address of the deleted content. Don’t enter quotation marks or any spaces. For example, to find the deleted New York Times article mentioned above, you would type in cache:http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/latest-rival-to-groupon-livingsocial-facebook-embargo-till-midnight.
To use the Google Cache to find deleted content using google.com, type in the same thing in the search box: cache:URL.
Using Google Cache will usually yield the cached version of the deleted content, giving you access to the version of the Web site or blog just prior to deletion. And yes, this worked for the New York Times article about Facebook Deals. Searching the cache yields this cached version, which dishes out all the juicy details about Facebook’s competitive move against Groupon and Living Social, which is also now live at a new URL on nytimes.com.