I have a question on something I read in the article found at this URL:


"Many internet researchers incorrectly assume that clicking on Google's "cached" in a search result will only make hits to Google, and make no hits to the search target's website. Truth is, clicking on "cached" will almost always result in unusual hits to the target web server...

...If your browser leaks http_referrer, then the downloaded graphics will leak a referrer along the lines of:: google_cache_/_URL_of web_page_from_cache_/_Your_search_terms_used_to_find_page"

My questions are:

  1. That referrer does not seem to include the searcher's IP address. Is it disclosed in some other way to the website?

  2. What if I don't directly go to a cached page from a search; but if I instead do a search, copy a link from the search result, and paste it into a new window's URL bar after typing "cache:", does it disclose any personal information about me or how I got to that page?

1 Answer 1


Basically, Google cache should not be used as a means of hiding your visits to a webpage. Likely, any website focused on users will use CSS and/or JavaScript to some extent. The best option would be to use external files for those scripts. Google does not save these external resources as part of the cache preview.

Therefore, yes, every time you view a cached page with external scripts (most websites), the web server will log your IP, referer, etc. Visiting the web page directly with Google cache will expose the same things including referer, but clearly search terms will not be present (as none were used).

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