Digging up old information

Over the weekend, my wife related to me an issue she was having at work. A group of her co-workers had signed up for a class at a discounted rate, paid the deposit, and later (a handful of weeks)  learned that the prices had changed and there was no discounted rate. They would all be asked to pay a couple hundred dollars more than what they originally thought, and if they didn't want to pay, they would loose the couple hundred dollars they had left for a deposit. My wife called the instructor, explained that the discount had been clearly posted on his site, and he denied it.

It was at this point I shared with my wife the magic of Google caching. If you Google for cache:www.quicktestingtips.com you get a result page that states:

This is Google's cache of http://www.quicktestingtips.com/. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 24 May 2009 22:28:19 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime. Learn more

Or at least, that's what you get if you do it today. It changes over time.

Armed with this little tip, she was able to find a cached version of the site, which she mailed off to the instructor. They got the discount. However, the damage has been done... no one actually wants to attend the class now. The entire experience has been tainted by the back and forth on something so trivial.

Security testing tip: Sometimes looking into Google cache will show you information about a site that webmasters thought they had hidden or removed.