The internet is an ever evolving beast. Interests shift, communities die. Digg, Yahoo, YTMND, Myspace, any successful website can fall from favor in an instant. Such an environment is especially tumultuous for modders, hobbyists, and content creators as helpful tutorials, worklogs, projects and even friends can fall by the wayside. What is there to do when sites close and information lost? There is of course The Internet Wayback Machine, but it only saves snapshots of certain pages and not every forum thread, so Google Cache is an alternative worth a try.
STEP 1. For this example we will be using the recently-departed Bacman Community Forums, as that is probably the most relevant option currently to this method. Type in the name of the website in the Google search bar and then enter the exact name of the thread you wish to recover in quotes. If you don’t know the thread name verbatim you can omit the quotes, but using them makes searching for exactly what you are looking far a lot easier.
STEP 2. After searching though the search results and finding the correct thread, if you look by the website link there is a carrot (arrow). Click that arrow and select Cache from the list of options in the dropdown box.
STEP 4. Unfortunately, You cannot browse through the website normally, so if the thread in question has more than one page, just scroll down to the bottom where the thread’s pages are listed. Right link the page link you wish to view and select “Copy Link Address”. Go back to Google and paste that information in the search bar and repeat Steps 1-3. You may have to pre-type something and search just to get it off the Google homepage, as that likes to just link directly to the website instead of doing a search for said link.
Addendum. Not all websites and forum threads will be cached so this is a hit-or-miss method. Depending when the thread was created and when the cache was made, some information like later pages and posts may be missing. I’m not sure how long Caches last on deleted websites either so if you have something you need to get, it is best to grab the information now while it is still archived.
Update: Pertaining to the Bacman Community angle of this post, thankfully Modding Community Member
Downing djlooka has come across an entire cache backup of the forums, which you can download and archive at your leisure here.