Finding Old Websites

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     Want to see what a website looked like in the nineties? One day I came across the website archive.org (geeks have their ways of finding cool things), which has an interesting mission, to save snapshots of websites so people can see what a website looked like in the past (I have always wondered about something similar to this). Geek Brain Dump, at the time of this writing, has been saved four times on archive.org already for a relatively unpopular website when compared to Google. You can see what Geek Brain Dump looked like on May 17, 2014 or see what Google looked like on November 11, 1998 (there wasn’t much to see back then, in the ol’ days without Windows 8 annoying us). Of course, some links are broken, images are missing, and some sites do not allow their sites to be crawled by crawlers, but it is surprisingly complete. Even with a random website of something like startrek.com (ahem…yes, just totally random off the top of my head…no bias towards Star Trek to see here, folks.J), it shows what it looked like more or less. Some sites like Facebook told the crawlers to not to crawl their site, but who cares about Facebook anyway (although you can see Twitter)?

Google’s crawlers crawl through websites in search of results, although some websites are part of the deep web and, therefore, not crawled by Google. When you search for something, it can just give sites that it has crawled and deemed a good result by Google’s algorithms. Google decides how often to crawl a site based on a number of factors, one of which is (not surprisingly) page rank, so “better” pages get updated more often, while a site that Google has deemed as malicious might be extremely hard to find. I think this is a fun place to explore the past or find popular websites that were taken offline long ago.

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