Google's Link Report Drops All Home Page Links?

Feb 6, 2013 • 8:35 am | comments (23) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster Tools Bug in LinksYesterday we reported that Google's link report dropped the number of links being reported across virtually all sites. Some have seen 70% drop in link counts as reported in Google Webmaster Tools.

A new Google Webmaster Help thread may have some more insight on what happened.

It seems that Google stopped reporting on the links pointing to your home page. Typically, but not always, your home page attracts the most amount of links. Now if Google stops reporting those home page links, then your link count may drop significantly.

If you login to Google Webmaster Tools and click on the "Links to Your Site" under "Traffic" and then view the "Your most linked content" you will notice your home page is not listed there. Strange, don't you think?

Google's John Mueller said in the thread that he thinks this is a display bug but needs to make sure. He wrote:

Thanks for the report, Anne (and thanks for escalating, Stevie!). This looks like an issue with how the data is displayed in Webmaster Tools, it shouldn't affect your site's crawling, indexing or ranking. I don't have any specifics at the moment, but the team is looking into the details to see what we can do here. Thanks for your patience & sorry for the confusion!

I hope to have an answer soon but it really seems like a bug and not a feature.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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02/06/2013 01:42 pm

Did you notice "sites linking in" and also "linking domains" dropped by 60% to 70% too?


02/06/2013 04:44 pm

Google have released travel insurance compare in the UK


02/06/2013 06:22 pm

when I access Google webmaster yesterday Feb 5 and I noticed a drop from 1700+ backlinks to around 50. Simply, all of the links to my homepage disappeared. I suspect that Google found a away to clean the unnatural ones out from collective knowledge. Needless to say that my SERP suffered since Jan 17. It's interesting how my homepage completely disappeared from SERP 2 to nowhere on Jan. 17 and 2 weeks later, my backlinks got "cleaned up". When I analyze a download of the 1700+ links and the 50 remaining ones, I noticed that it seems that the 50 links are legit and the rest was kinda unnatural from a few SEO efforts. Tough to stay ahead of Google these days.

Robert Clinton

02/06/2013 07:43 pm

Thank you for writing this article. My links are missing and I have been wondering why. Do you happen to have in depth info on google + pages/google + local pages?

Joe Winpisinger

02/07/2013 02:32 am


Praveen Sharma

02/07/2013 03:11 am

Another bug in GWT. Google is making it a habit.

Michael Wiener

02/07/2013 03:28 am

This is an interesting news. I just hope it's a bug in GWT.


02/07/2013 05:05 am

I have noticed it two days ago and it is a bug of GWT.


02/07/2013 05:10 am

It is understood that Google knows SEOs using home page link to promote and make a backlink so it was trying to make some fix on this. I also noticed 0 backlinks reported to home page in GWT. I think GWT team is not capable of doing great things... or might be Matt gone mad for filling the bags of Google with adwords clicks. hahhahhaa

Pisethhout ( Clubvegas)

02/07/2013 07:58 am



02/07/2013 08:17 am

If an domain only links to your homepage, its as this article wrote also logical it will not be shown under linking domain at this moment.


02/07/2013 11:30 am

It is really a big problem.


02/07/2013 01:16 pm

Yes that true. Very obvious but didn't see it!

Sanket Patel

02/07/2013 01:16 pm

I notice this thing in google webmaster tool, it's direct effect on Home page,that are not listed in proper way. It such a big issue.

Sandeep K

02/07/2013 02:16 pm

Looking forward for more info on this..would appreciate if anyone could suggest some solution to this

Erin Round

02/07/2013 03:23 pm

What I think is odd is that SOME links are still showing up.. why wouldn't they all have gone missing if it was a 'bug'?

Francesco Giubbilini

02/07/2013 03:31 pm

Hi, exactly what i have seen today in my WebMasterTool :( And it's not only a BIG BUG, but i think that my homepage is not properly listed like before... i have lost ranking... You think that i should write to google about it? Thanks, bye!

David Honaker

02/07/2013 09:29 pm

That's good to know. Our site has over 400 Facebook "likes" - all were reported, then dropped to something like 10, then 2, now 0. So it wasn't sudden. But also links to other pages of our site, over 100 pages in various languages with links, were also weeded down gradually, and then all of a sudden those pages showed no links to them from legitimate sites (legitimate and subject-applicable, good and valid links). So, it isn't just the home/index page. It's a major "bug."

Simply Me

02/07/2013 09:54 pm

I also noticed that they also have a glitch on index health. Today I noticed that the "not selected " pages are not showing. Maybe they want to take this feature out


02/08/2013 05:14 am

We have also noticed same issue that more than 90% of our links disappeared from webmaster tools, hope it could be a bug, otherwise it's difficult for us to track link links. If this sudden spike is not an issue, then it also difficult for webmaster to find unnatural or other suspicious links to remove via disawow tool.

Chef Jake

02/09/2013 08:31 pm

destroyed all my rankings any back-links I had we're completely organic went from about 800 to 8

SAS Accounting Services

02/10/2013 04:14 am

the problem we dont know if Google stopped reporting on the links pointing to your home page for ever or they will fix it.


02/12/2013 06:55 am

Missing links in GWT are back. ;)

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