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What is Wayback Machine and what is it used for

We were a sent a link of our website.  We google for info about it and it seem some sort web-crawler (example http://web.archive.org/web/20150915000000*/http://domain-some-name.com).  The link says "This calendar view maps the number of times http://domain-some-name.com) was crawled by the Wayback Machine, not how many times the site was actually updated".  

What is this and what is it used for?

Thank you.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Commented:
It is a site that archives other sites on the web.  Somebody wanted to do it and did.  Nothing more to it.  Home page here: https://archive.org/web/web.php
Corporate & Product Marketing Manager
Commented:
The Wayback Machine is a fun tool that allows you to view a website on a specific date. As @Dave Baldwin says - it provides an archive for the internet.

Quite useful when you think about it! Plus it's fun to see what websites used to look like in the 'olden days'.

Author

Commented:
So in conclusion:

It's a site or an engine that just views or visits all pages of a X website(s) and register what it visited?

Also, when visiting a web site, does it goes to all its pages?


Finally, this site only purposes is to only to view a web site as it was in previous years?
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Commented:
Yes, but it rarely records all the pages.  Yes, it's just an archive though I see on the home page that you can add your own pages to it.  Note that it Only records the HTML that it finds.  If your site requires PHP or ASP to run, all you will find there is a snapshot of the HTML that is generated.  Any PHP or ASP links won't work unless they captured them as HTML too.
Leslie BloomCorporate & Product Marketing Manager

Commented:
Yes, I've found it usually is just a snapshot.

Author

Commented:
Thanx all!
Leslie BloomCorporate & Product Marketing Manager

Commented:
No problem, happy to help!
Alicia St RoseOwner & Principle Developer/Designer

Commented:
I know this is closed, but wanted to add:
It was a life saver when a client of mine had his site removed and we needed some of the content. I found the archived site on the Wayback Machine and it saved my neck!

Also, it's used as a source of embarrassment. Just check out Elizabeth Gilbert's (Eat Pray Love) in 2010:

https://web.archive.org/web/20100722003915/http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/

I actually saw this when it was live and thought she'd been dropped by Penguin Books!
Just goes to show, you might want to put your best foot forward out of the gate when you launch a website. They don't go away.

Author

Commented:
Thank you very much for the input!