Google can pull up a version of their search index from as far back as January 2001. From an IT point of view, this is pretty amazing. They make it clear it's not an exact version, but that they can do it at all is impressive.
Could your company pull up a backup of anything from seven years ago? Let alone make it functional in the same context it once was? I surprise people whenever they learn I keep emails for as long as I do.
Anyone who didn't believe they are keeping a Time Machine-esque index of every version of any page ever crawled should be convinced now. Just like a lot of folks want BackRub, I bet a lot of folks would love access to a searchable and far more comprehensive internet archive than the, well, actual Internet Archive.
Things I've learned about my sites from playing around with this?
- I did not rank quite as well as I remember ranking.
- I abused duplicate title tags, a lot.
- My general design style has evolved but is still recognizable (probably a bad thing!).
- I was reminded of some of our old domains and the odd subdirectory structure of the different web projects.