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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Retrieve The PageID / PostID Of A Deleted Page / Post

I've previously provided instructions for recovering a deleted page (static page) or post (dynamic page).

Retrieval of a deleted page / post involves editing the deleted page / post, using a URL which contains the BlogID, and the PageID / PostID. It's easy enough to get the BlogID - the source listing for any blog page will have multiple places where the BlogID can be found - but where can one find the PageID / PostID?

The PageID / PostID can be found - given a small amount of effort, for any well indexed blog. Any cached copy, of the deleted page or post, will provide the PageID / PostID - once you know what to look for.

Start by knowing 3 details.
  1. BlogID. This is easily retrieved, as explained above. This is useful, for scanning a blog feed cache listing.
  2. Post Title. This is useful, when scanning a blog feed cache listing.
  3. Page / Post URL. This is necessary, for searching either an archive cache or search engine cache.

There are three major sources, for retrieval of cached blog content.
  1. Archive Cache.
  2. Blog Feed.
  3. Search Engine Cache.
If you can locate a given post in any of the three, you can retrieve the PostID, for a deleted dynamic page, easily enough. The comprehensive cache retrieval CachedView.com may be a good place to start.

The PageID, for a deleted static page, may be a bit more challenging. Static pages are not found in newsfeeds - and may not always be cached by a search engine.

Archive Cache stores and retrieves content based purely on the URL of the content. The best known archive cache would be The Internet Archive, aka the "Wayback Machine". The Wayback Machine is a search engine independent archive, with content that can be retrieved based on the URL, and content stored by date.

Multiple versions of the same URL may have been stored. When stored, the various versions are displayed for retrieval using a calendar - and a menu for each day on the calendar, when multiple versions were stored on the same day.

The PageID / PostID never changes, so any selection which yields content will do, as well as any other selection. In some cases, you will find that the archive will index a deletion - so if a given archive entry yields the well known Blogger "Deleted content" advice, search the archive for a previously indexed version.

If the URL of interest is in archive cache, simply display a cached page, and examine the page source. The PostID will be at the beginning of the post, in the source.

Blog Feed Cache uses the posts newsfeed, which is generally limited to the last published 25 posts. If you subscribe to your own blog, using Reading List or a similar newsfeed reader, you likely have the last 25 posts of your blog in cache there.

We have discovered, generally to our dismay, that deleting a post does not remove it from the newsfeed. In this case, that shortcoming will be an advantage.

Simply view the content of the newsfeed using a text based browser, and examine the newsfeed source listing. Find the post in question. The PostID will be just above the post title, in the source.

Search Engine Cache uses the post content, as cached by any available search engine. Search engine cache saves the most recent copy of any saved post, and indexes the post by URL - or many different keyword searches.

I generally use Google Search. Just type "cache:", followed by the URL of the deleted page or post, to see if the page or post is (was) indexed.

If the post is indexed, you can, like with Wayback Machine content, view the indexed page, and look at page source. And just as with Wayback Machine retrieved content, just look for the beginning of the post, and the PostID.

Once you have the PageID or PostID, just build the post editor URL, edit the page or post, and Publish.

Dude, hit me with a comment!