Google Webmaster Tools Reporting Negative Links?

Feb 21, 2011 • 8:35 am | comments (14) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster SEO ReportOne of the most popular reports within Google Webmaster Tools is the links to your site report. If SEOs are obsessed with anything, it is links.

So when you see things in that report that look out of the norm, it can be scary.

One Webmaster reported in a Google Webmaster Help thread that he is seeing negative numbers in his links report!

Negative links? How is that possible? How can a site have negative amount of links?

In the "Who links the most" section of the report, it shows this guys own web site and has a negative sign (minus sign) in front of the number. He asked, "Why do I have a - by my website?"

Google's JohnMu replied "I'll pass it on to the team to review."

Do you think this is a sign of:

(1) Google not counting certain links?

(2) Google not counting links from your own site to your own site?

(3) Just a weird bug that Google will fix?

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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John Trimble

02/21/2011 01:52 pm

Personally i think it will be a bug, or that a site has x links on it but y links are subtracted from that number. Just a theory

David White

02/21/2011 02:45 pm

I have to agree with John word be REALLY surprised if this was Google telling us what exactly they see as a negative or bad link.

Carl Zetterberg

02/21/2011 03:01 pm

I've just noticed the same thing in my account. Strange, hopefully a bug.

Barry Schwartz

02/21/2011 03:03 pm

Can we see a screen shot.

Mark L Palmer

02/21/2011 05:16 pm

Ive noticed another odd thing in GWT but had no time to ask : when I request a crawl rate change, I get no confirmation message. The email confirmations used to arrive next-day, latest. Now I don't know whether the crawl rate did change. Anyone else notice that?


02/21/2011 08:34 pm

could it be a sign of link of questionable nature? If so, one does not need wild imagination to see how this could be misused

JH Web Design in Minneapolis

02/21/2011 09:40 pm

I have negative links on my site too! It's coming from my own website :\

Barry Schwartz

02/21/2011 09:52 pm

Screen shot?

Jun Baranggan

02/21/2011 11:40 pm

That's weird. Checked all my accounts and nothing like that is happening so far.


02/22/2011 05:19 am


Tad Chef

02/22/2011 10:13 am

Obviously some links don't count and those links get substracted. As in this case more links didn't count as officially count usually so he got a negative number. As it was his own site let's imagine that 90 of his 100 links did count usually but with his site linking to itself (maybe a canonical issue or something) 100 of 100 links did not count. So the actual math would be 90 - 100 = -10.


02/22/2011 11:27 pm

Agreed. Good Resource, as I am sure most of us Tech gurus are always contemplating these things... Just hoping it gets fair along the way... although... not holding my breath. Thanks for the Info and Thoughts!


06/16/2011 09:37 pm

I had positive links yesterday. I changed the link structure today and it's negative now. For me, it's a easy selfchanging mistake: The google-tool is still looking for the old (changed) links and is not finding them. That is why they are decounted. An other change I made, before it turned negative: I disabled date-references for the search page. 

Sunny Ujjawal

07/07/2011 12:01 pm

But why and how webmaster is showing such negative links ???

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