Retrieving Google’s Cache for a Whole Website

Some time ago, as some of you noticed, the web server that hosts my blog went down. Unfortunately, some of the sites had no proper backup, so some thing had to be done in case the hard disk couldn’t be recovered. My efforts turned to Google’s cache. Google keeps a copy of the text of the web page in it’s cache, something that is usually useful when the website is temporarily unavailable. The basic idea is to retrieve a copy of all the pages of a certain site that Google has a cache of.

While this is easily done manually when only few pages are cached, the task needs to be automated when a need for retrieving several hundreds of pages rises. This is exactly what the following Python script does.

import urllib
import urllib2
import re
import socket
import os
#adjust the site here
def main():
    headers = {'User-Agent': 'Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686 (x86_64); en-US; rv: Gecko/20070515 Firefox/'}
    url = ""+search_term
    regex_cache = re.compile(r'<a href="(http://\d*\.\d*\.\d*\.\d*/search\?q\=cache.*?)".*?>Cached</a>')
    regex_next = re.compile('<a href="([^"]*?)"><span id=nn></span>Next</a>')

    #this is the directory we will save files to
    counter = 0
    pagenum = 0
    more = True
        pagenum += 1
        print "PAGE "+str(pagenum)+": "+url
        req = urllib2.Request(url, None, headers)
        page = urllib2.urlopen(req).read()
        matches = regex_cache.findall(page)
        for match in matches:
            tmp_req = urllib2.Request(match.replace('&amp;','&'), None, headers)
            tmp_page = urllib2.urlopen(tmp_req).read()
            print counter,": "+match
            f = open('files/'+str(counter)+'.html','w')
        #now check if there is more pages
        match =
        if match == None:
            more = False
            url = ""'&amp;','&')

if __name__=="__main__":

# vim: ai ts=4 sts=4 et sw=4

Before using the script you need to adjust the search_term variable near the beginning of the script. In this variable goes the search term for which all the available cache would be downloaded. E.g. to retrieve the cache of all the pages of you should set search_term to

71 thoughts on “Retrieving Google’s Cache for a Whole Website”

  1. If someone could email me at, I have questions – can’t get any of the scripts to work without errors (actually have installed Python 2.7, can edit the .py files, etc.) I am so close to getting this to work!

  2. Thank you Guy,

    I have seen the files folder but it is empty.

    I have a feeling I didn’t do it the correct way.

    This is what I did.

    a) I installed Python on my machine which is operating on windows 7.
    b) Run the script via command line.

  3. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one these days..

  4. Hey Guy

    Just wondering what the latest working code is? Have tried your original one and several of the others but I just keep getting an empty files folder on my desktop. I’ve saving the code into a notepad file as I then double click on it to get it to work. I’ve also tried dragging it to the commend line of the Python program. Is they way to do it?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.