Link Count Continues To Drop On Google Webmaster Tools

Jun 17, 2013 • 8:16 am | comments (16) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster Tools Link DropLast Wednesday we reported complaints in the forums of webmasters noticing their links are dropping within Google Webmaster Tools. In short, the links shown in Google Webmaster Tools today versus two weeks ago was a fraction of the number.

Well, the issue is still going on and now I see it also. More and more webmasters, site owners and SEOs are concerned about the link drop.

Personally, as you can see in the screen shot, I dropped from 3.8 million links to 2.1 million links in just a few days. That is a 45% drop in reported links by Google Webmaster Tools.

Others are reporting link drops as high as 80%.

This is not uncommon, we had a bug back in February with this as well.

So I would not worry, it seems like everyone is in the same boat.

Most likely, this is a bug and will be fixed. But it may be a change to how Google calculates links, but that seems less likely.

I'll try to get an answer on this.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and (one of many) Google Webmaster Help.

Update: Google posted an update over here saying this is a known issue:

Some Webmaster Tools users have reported missing data in the "Links to your site" section. We are aware of this issue and are looking into it; you do not need to take any action. We hope to have the normal data shown again in the near future. The data shown there is informational and does not affect your site's crawling, indexing or ranking.

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Praveen Sharma

06/17/2013 12:24 pm

Bugs are part of GWT. Not to worry about it. They will resolve it soon to allow it to make a come back after few months. GWT's team playing HIDE-n-SEEK with bugs. :)

Jawad Latif

06/17/2013 12:28 pm

I have also noticed a drop in Link Counting.

Faizaan Khan

06/17/2013 12:31 pm

I also noticed , but since then, Traffic improved. Do not See any improvement in SERPS, but traffic is surely improved. And it does not bounce back !!

Kshitij Maurya

06/17/2013 12:37 pm

Is there any drop in traffic? There are mixed reactions in forum discussion.

Barry Schwartz

06/17/2013 12:41 pm


Stephen Slater

06/17/2013 01:29 pm

Could this have anything to do with Google punishing spammy links? Maybe some networks are overreacting and cleaning up shop.

Greg Fowler

06/17/2013 01:48 pm

I don't think it is a big deal. Google owns the GWT console.

Michael Merritt

06/17/2013 04:57 pm

This is probably okay. I've always found the WMT link report to be a bit behind, anyway, especially in the case where a link no longer exists.


06/17/2013 05:02 pm

anyway, google hide important links. that all links you can put to disavow tool (just filter facebook/google/big authority domains)


06/17/2013 05:03 pm

you just can imagine how many myriads of bugs in penguin and panda ;)

Nick Ker

06/17/2013 06:32 pm

No, the links still exist, it is just that Webmaster Tools is not reporting them. Most of the sites I have seen this happen to have relatively few spammy links. One site I am monitoring actually has its most spammy links left showing in WMT while its most legitimate and "valuable" links no longer appear. Probably just a bug in WMT.

Stephen Slater

06/17/2013 06:36 pm

In accurate data in WMT doesn't shock me. I was trying to go outside the box because of all the link talk around Penguin. Thanks for soothing that paranoia.

Michael Griffin

06/17/2013 08:29 pm

GWT has had several inconsistencies in reporting. I've seen links, structured data detection, and search impressions show wildly inaccurate or inconsistent info. It's really too bad as those tools *could* be super valuable and would help Google encourage user-oriented SEO efforts.

Nick Ker

06/17/2013 09:45 pm

I kind of wish it really was that spam linkers were closing down. I am working on a few link removal/disavow/reconsideration projects for some sites that would really benefit from a few hundred spamblogs disappearing overnight.

Jim Hodson

06/18/2013 02:55 am

Hey Barry, I've seen lots of talk about this on SEL's LinkedIn group and elsewhere. Several have reported that ALL links to their home page have disappeared from Google WMT. Just curious if this is the same for you. In all cases, traffic seems to have remained the same, so I'm guessing it's just a display or data issue within WMT that in no way affects Google's real link graph or link-based ranking factors.

Barry Schwartz

06/18/2013 12:13 pm

FYI, I posted an update on this story. Yes, it is getting worse, but Google officially confirmed the bug and is working on fixing it.

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