Google's New Link Report May Show Different Data & Numbers

Aug 22, 2018 • 7:50 am | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Yesterday we reported Google came out with a new link report for the new Google Search Console to replace the old link report in the old. The thing is, the numbers might differ when you look at the old and new report because Google has changed how they calculate and get that data, I think.

The new report shows for this site a total of 2,563,119 external links while the old report shows 2,552,763 total external links. That is a 10,356 link difference. Not a significant number when looking at 2.5M links but still, why is it different.

Google said in their help document that this is a known issue, saying:

Data in this report is more accurate than the old Links to your site report. As a result, the values in the new report may be lower, but this does not indicate a drop in links, but rather a more accurate and secure way of reporting them.

But I do not see a drop, I see an increase.

I asked Google's John Mueller about this on yesterday's hangout at the 5:27 mark into the video and he said that it is just calculated differently. He is not sure why it would be more accurate or not, he has to look into it. He did say "we are getting this data directly from from search pipelines and trying to show that as cleanly as possible. So it's it's slightly different from from the old setup that we had."

Here was the back and forth of that conversation transcribed:

John: I think it says that they've calculated slightly differently. So in in our testing we we noticed some bigger differences and we try to get that as similar as possible.

It's calculated slightly differently. So it would be normal to see some some amount of difference between those two.

Barry: Yeah so the help document specifically says “lower”, but that the drop in links is not necessarily a reflection of your website etc. But you could say it could be either way, you can go up or down?

John: Yeah.

Barry: What has changed? Why is it more accurate specifically?

John: I don't know what we would be able to say there directly.

So it's something where we are getting this data directly from from search pipelines and trying to show that as cleanly as possible. So it's it's slightly different from from the old setup that we had.

But why is it more accurate? I don't know, good question, I have to figure out, check with the team.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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