Report of Google Webmaster Tool not displaying link count to many websites’ homepage
I was scratching my head this morning in disbelief at the number of fallen links to all of my websites. During a regular site monitoring, it was discovered the total number of inbound links has fallen significantly and it took only few minutes to realize the Google Webmaster Tools has stopped reporting on the links to the homepage.
When GWT lost homepage links?
Apparently, it happened sometime around February 4th 2013. Following up the discussion on Google forum, it seems like John Mueller, Web Master Trends Analyst at Google thinks this is “an issue with how the data is displayed in Webmaster Tools, it shouldn’t affect your site’s crawling, indexing or ranking.” He further adds ” I don’t have any specifics at the moment, but the team is looking into the details to see what we can do here. ” He is also offering thanks to “Stevie” from his internal team and apologies to the readers for the confusion.
This is not the first time anything like this has happened, however since this is the first time it only happened only to the homepage links as long as I can remember. For most small businesses homepage url is the top most page link where inbound links are pointed to, which would mean smaller your website, larger percentage of your inbound links will seem to have dropped.
Bug or a way for Google to weed out bad links?
However, as of yet, no verdict on if this is a google bug or a permanent feature to weed out poor quality links. Regardless, this reminds us that we should always focus on quality links.
It is quite possible that Google is going through a possible recalculation. Note, the first release of updated PageRank just came out few days ago and suddenly this update on link count is happening. Either that or simply this is a bug on Google Webmaster Tools as John Mueller, Web Master Trends Analyst at Google pointed out. Let’s wait for few days and we’ll know either way.
Too early to tell, but there does not seem too much change in traffic and very little (or insignificant) movement in ranking. So I’m leaning more towards the theory that this is a temporary bug which should be fixed in few days. Will see.