What is the Wayback Machine?
The Wayback Machine, also referred to as the internet time machine is a cybernated catalog of the internet, more famously known as the World Wild Web, founded out of San Francisco by an organization known as the Internet Archive. It’s the closest technological advancement we have to a time machine that allows any user to, metaphorically speaking, ‘go back in time’ to when certain web pages were first archived by the Wayback Machine.
It puts a whole new meaning to, “Once on the net, always on the net.” How will this assist in SEO, you ask? The answer lies below.
How to improve your SEO with the Wayback Machine
Internet Time Machine’s Blast to the Past
Just as this title suggests, the Wayback Machine acts like a literal internet time machine except you never have to leave your computer screen to use it. With as little effort as it takes to enter in an URL address, you’re able to almost instantly discover what that relic of a website used to look like in its hay day. This can be very helpful when writing an SEO.
Highs and Lows
This can also be called, “Red light, Green Light” if you think about it in terms of traffic, which is exactly what we’re talking about now except we’re not describing the newest muscle car or the nifty electric two-seater. Instead, we’re referring to the traffic the website in question has. If you go to the calendar on the Wayback Machine site you can click the specific time period and see when the highest influx of traffic happened and when it crept to a slow crawl.
This helps when trying to discover successful changes and the flops that could cause a decrease in activities. If the website is no longer up and running you may be able to discover just what killed it and hopefully avoid the same misfortune. Knowledge is power.
Also known as ‘familiarity’ or getting to know your client. The Wayback Machine allows you to gain more in-depth knowledge about your new client and their brand. You will be able to see what they looked like as a greenhorn and how they have changed over time as well as the voice they had and if it has changed any. This can be very useful in helping your client make the changes that can save or further progress their business. It’s always a good feeling when the client knows they can trust that you will do your research.
The Wayback Machine funny enough can be used as a diagnostic tool of sorts seeing as it acts as an archive. Let’s say traffic is extremely slow, then there is a sudden spike in the flow of traffic but then it slows to a creep once more. You would type in your URL and go to the cached pages on the calendar, in some situations this would tell you if any changes that were made could’ve caused such rapid increase and then decrease.
Better Check Twice
The sudden drop or standstill in traffic may not be the issue after all. Instead, you could be having a traffic jam, this occurs when Google Analytics isn’t storing the data properly. You would fix this or diagnose this problem by going into the Robots.txt files.
When using the Wayback Machine to troubleshoot you want to keep an eye out on specific things such as a change to the meta description, missing page pieces, changes in the page structure, and that’s simply listing a few. Once again, the Robots.txt files come in handy when troubleshooting the various technical difficulties that you or your new client could be experiencing with the SEO as well as traffic.
It’s not totally unheard of for a company that started their business in the Stone Age of the internet to lose touch with old partnerships along the way. Reconnecting with those links is made possible by the Wayback Machine. Yet another way it proves useful for SEO…or just some cool internet time machine travel.
Once something is on the internet it’s impossible to completely delete it which in this case, could be a good thing. If you are unable to find what you are looking for because you’ve accidentally deleted or someone else did then the Wayback Machine is definitely for you. Although, the popularity of the page may have a factor in how much information you’re able to find.
This comes in handy if there ever comes a time that you need to prove that you were or were not active or aware when something may have happened to your SEO. With the practically unlimited archiving you should be able to pull up the specifics dates if the Wayback machine archived your page at that time.
Finding the Path
The final way that we are going to discuss in this list that the Wayback Machine’s internet time machine can help you improve your SEO is giving you the ability to go more in-depth with the pathing analysis. Using it this way gives you a chance to compare what you saw in the past with what you are seeing now in the present. If your traffic was higher at some point in the past you can see what you did then that differs from now and make the changes.
Hopefully, this proves helpful in learning more about the Wayback Machine and how it can help you improve your SEO.