I want to search for a given keyword in a website that is no longer online. In Google terms, I want to do something like:

keyword site:example.com

...but in the Wayback Machine. What's the syntax for this? I've tried several things, but none of them really worked.

1 Answer 1


Searches in the Wayback Machine are designed to return website homepages, rather than specific site content or pages within websites. You can't keyword search specific words/phrases on specific pages. The use of keywords is intended to describe a website.

Multilingual keyword searches along with site-based filtering (site:example.com) were announced in October 2016 as a major enhancement to the 15-year-old service. There has been mention of implementing a full-text search engine at some point in the future, but it still does not exist. You cannot find websites by searching for words that are in their pages [source]

"Site Search for the Wayback Machine will help you find the homepages of sites, based on words people have used to describe those sites, as opposed to words that appear on pages from sites."

Search String (main collection)       Returns
<keyword> Websites related to <keyword>
site:example.com <keyword>
Websites related to <keyword> containing example.com in hostname

Wayback Machine Example Searches

Search                                      Returns
academic journals Websites related to academic journals
Αριστοτέλειο Greek search for websites related to Aristotle
site:gov climate change Government websites related to climate change
site:stanford.edu asian studies Stanford websites related to Asian studies

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