Are Your Links Missing In Google Webmaster Tools?

Jun 12, 2013 • 8:31 am | comments (20) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster Tools Bug in LinksThere are new reports surfacing of a bug in Google Webmaster Tools, where the links report is showing a small fraction of the links it was reporting the previous day.

WebmasterWorld and a few (here is one) Google Webmaster Help threads have the complaints. We even saw comments in some our posts with complaints.

Webmasters are reporting 80% to 60% drops in backlinks counts as reported by Google Webmaster Tools today versus yesterday. Personally, I see exactly the same number of links from when I snapped a screen shot a few days ago. But maybe I am unaffected or maybe the bug is rolling out more widely or maybe it is fixed already?

One webmaster said:

Hi just entered Google Webmaster Tools and I saw I lost today about 80% of my backlinks.

Another said:

I too lost 80% of my backlinks today in WMT but there was no change in traffic so hopefully this is just a temporary bug.

It is not uncommon for there to be bugs with this report. We reported a similar bug in February of this year and then several times before.

I assume this is just a bug and you do not have to worry.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Google Webmaster Help.

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Matthew Barby

06/12/2013 12:51 pm

I haven't seen anything across any of our clients today? To be honest, I don't use Webmaster Tools a great deal for links due to the fact that they often only shown a very small portion of the actual links to your site (annoying) - instead I rely on Majestic for this little task.

Lisa Agostoni

06/12/2013 02:55 pm

Thanks, Barry. I was wondering what's up. Seeing lost links in two sites.

Adam Robinson

06/12/2013 03:32 pm

This is funny. I have just one showing out of 20k. The only domain to show is Youtube. lol

Max Alan Bittle

06/12/2013 03:48 pm

Mine has said no data available for about a week now.

Adeel Sami

06/12/2013 03:55 pm

Wow, would be scary enough at the first glance but a bit of relief it's a Bug. Thanks Barry for the write-up!

the sniga

06/13/2013 05:40 am

Is Google WMT drunk ?? I am seeing only 180 links instead of 2K links...This bug is getting from last 2 months but Google still not worked on that...

Asif Faridi

06/13/2013 05:43 am

I never trust on Webmaster Link data, Better to use raven or Majestic for analyzing back link data.

Selvam T

06/13/2013 06:09 am

I have been monitoring regularly the links under Google Webmaster tool for one of my client site. The total number of links shows increase and decrease. Initially i have around 1,95,000 backlinks. It has been reduced to 95,000 backlinks a one month before and again i could see a drastic increase in my backlinks in GWT. It shown 1,64,000. But when i checked again last week it again reduced to 1,0500 links. Now i again checked it shows 1,10,600 backlinks. I don't know what is going on in Google webmaster tools. Why there is a steady decrease and increase in backlinks. Because of these issues, my site keywords are not ranking in top. Earlier all my site keywords are in top 10.

Nick Ker

06/13/2013 02:11 pm

Seeing this on some but not all sites. I guess we really can't take John Mueller's advice that we only need to look at WMT when addressing link based penalties? Wonder what happened. WMT's link report was always questionable until maybe 6 months ago when it started to look more complete. Now it is back to incomplete and out if date.

Jake Fish

06/14/2013 05:00 am

Yep, I only show about 5% of the links that showed yesterday. All my links are white hat. I hope it's only a glitch.

Hemant Jaiswal

06/14/2013 06:32 am

Yes there's bug in GWT backlinks. Check for your most linked pages in "Your most linked content" section. If you find any linked pages missing then backlinks & referring domains for them will also be missing in your total backlinks.

Borja Giron

06/14/2013 09:49 am

Thanks for the info!


06/14/2013 09:38 pm

I went from 1400 to 17. It's the second time in the past 6 months this has happened.

Jake Fish

06/15/2013 03:39 am

Did you get your links back last time?


06/15/2013 04:26 am

Yes, over a period of about 3 weeks they slowly started coming back.

Jake Fish

06/15/2013 04:29 am

Thanks, that's encouraging. At least my rankings haven't dropped...yet. Fingers crossed.

Daniel Hartnet

06/18/2013 02:18 am

I noticed that I have tons of links on my youtube videos and all of these have removed and they come from my own channel and my own videos

Spook SEO

01/25/2014 04:22 pm

Yes Barry I was a bug and Matt Cutts give his words on this issue that it is just a bug that was resolved later on. Many people have seen this issue and they were afraid about this issue. I don’t know why this type of bugs float as Google is such a powerful search engine and its webmaster tool always show the best condition of the back links.

Raphael Cohen

02/18/2014 01:47 pm

Bug still not resolved, links missing from Google index as well using "link:domain/web_page"

john turbo

02/27/2014 05:16 am

at least 50% of all links are not shown but the same time google finds it in the SERP that's very weird even big directory like squidoo has links but google cannot get any links to from squidoo. may be is skipped deliberately

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