The Wayback Machine is essentially a digital archive of the World Wide Web, created by the Internet Archive, a California based non-profit organization. It enables a person to have a look at archived versions of many web pages of the past. The main concept of the Wayback Machine is documenting the various versions of a website that may be lost over time.
But this machine happens to be an excellent tool for forming your SEO strategy as well. Here are some ways through which you can use Wayback machines in improving your business.
1. View Site Changes
The most obvious use of the Wayback machine is to view how a website developed over the years. The machine allows you to compare the changes made on a website at different dates. This way you get an idea about which aspects were changed on a website to attract more customers.
You can also analyze the website of a leading business firm and pick some valuable points from its website. Everything you learn from these sites can be put to use on your own, which will help you advance with more customers and be in a better position than your competitors.
2. Get acquainted with your Client’s Website
When you start working with a new client, having an idea about the company’s business history is important. Using the Wayback machine you can view the evolution of their website and the changes brought about in their brand’s voice.
This information will tell you what you are going to deal with in the future. You can even back out of the deal in case you feel that the company’s business strategies don’t connect with you or you find that the company’s brand is not much reputable.
3. Understand Old URL Structures
At times when a website’s URL structure is changed, the old URL is lost with time. This creates a problem when you need to pull out some data. If you have an idea about when the site’s structure was changed, you can use a Wayback machine to archive the old website. This way you can find the older counterparts.
For example, the site has been reorganized and many subfolder names have been modified. With the help of a Wayback Machine, you can get to the older version and hence, pull out the required data.
4. Get Hold of Old Content
Sometimes, an important piece of data on the website might be lost or deleted by mistake. The Wayback machine can come in handy to retrieve that lost data. You simply need to go back to the older version of your website when the content existed on the page.
5. Perform a Mix Marketing Analysis
Using the Wayback machine, you can analyze different channels to landing page’s combination. This tells you about the potential changes in the company’s popularity. For example, your website served as an excellent medium of attracting customers last year, but this year, though you have expanded your outreach, you are not able to attract the same percentage of customers.
To know the reason behind this downfall, you can go back to your site’s previous version via the Wayback machine and get an idea of which aspect was the cause of success and what has caused its downfall now.
6. In-Depth Pathing Analysis
Pathing analysis is a very useful thing for growing your business, and the Wayback Machine is an appropriate tool for doing so. It lets you compare a path you are following at the moment to what it appeared in a previous time. This way you can view the elements that have changed and analyze their effect on you.
Pathing analysis also lets you discover multiple CRO opportunities for different page layouts and develop a layout that attracts maximum customers.
Is the Wayback Machine really reliable?
Despite these benefits, the Wayback Machine has some drawbacks due to which it is not so reliable. Many of the lesser-known websites cannot be archived through the Wayback Machine. Plus, the machine is not very good at customization and personalization.
There are a lot of more reliable alternatives to Wayback machines such as Stillio. It is an extremely useful tool that allows you to capture full-size PNG screenshots of your website. It also captures the ads on the website which a Wayback machine is unable to do. And of course, it also provides customization, which means you can archive daily, weekly, monthly or yearly as per your requirement.