I would like to know if having Stylesheets and JavaScript files available for old, cached versions of a site benefits SEO in any way. Currently I'm adding a hash of the file contents to the file name, so the file that is referenced by a cached version of the site would not longer be available.

Do I need to keep copies of old files around for any amount of time to improve SEO? Or can I just replace the old files with the new ones without any consequences?

  • 1
    The cache just shows you what Google has fetched last. Otherwise, it means nothing. Do not worry about it. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Feb 1 '18 at 2:03
  • Just to be clear, the only downside to not keeping old copies available would be that users that view Google's cached version of my site will not get any styles or javascript, in other words, the page will be ugly. This wouldn't affect page rank at all?
    – Jmh2013
    Feb 1 '18 at 12:44
  • The cache has nothing to do with rank. Who looks at the cache anyway? Are you worried about the occasional odd ball who might click on that link? Don't be. They get what they deserve. :-) [humor]
    – closetnoc
    Feb 1 '18 at 16:03
  • I agree with you! My concern is that our SEO guys said that the cached pages not rendering properly would negatively affect our site.. this was a over a year ago now. This has unnecessarily complicated our release process and I'm looking to simplify it. So I guess I was more looking for confirmation that what we're currently doing is a waste of time and effort.
    – Jmh2013
    Feb 1 '18 at 17:27
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    Fire your SEO. Once Google fetches a page, it immediately processes it. The cache is simply what is stored within the index and the link created for your convenience. It has no bearing on SEO. The work has already been done. You will hear SEOs say the craziest things. It is a b.s. world. Most have no idea how search works. Come back here when you have questions and we will keep you straight. We have some real experts here, some you will recognize. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Feb 1 '18 at 17:36

The only purpose of websites caches is for Google to provide a better user experience. They store the cache version of the web page in case that page becomes unavailable (web page is broken, server down, etc). Users can also use the cache in case the page is too slow to load.

When auditing, SEOs sometimes check the cache version of any web page to confirm that Google is caching the page properly or to check if the website has been hacked (with parts of the page not visible to any user but bots). After problems are fixed you won't need to worry at all about the cache. It has nothing to do with rankings, it just a reference for SEOs and (sort of) a backup for Google.

  • Do you have any source for this statement? Jun 13 '19 at 15:18
  • @JohnCrawford I am the source. I have more than 7 years of experience in the webmaster world.
    – Raul Reyes
    Jun 16 '19 at 8:58

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