Are you suddenly missing lots of links in Google Webmaster Tools?

Are you suddenly missing lots of links in Google Webmaster Tools?

There is a community on Google Plus called “SEO Hangout Panel“. It’s one of the few communities that I’m really active in and I really get lots of newest SEO related industry news from there. Thanks to this community I’m tracking lots of people from the SEO industry who are really on top of their game.

Dejan SEO (the company behind that community) reports that they noticed some backlinks within Google Webmaster Tools missing. I’ve quickly checked our websites and websites of our clients and I can confirm that lots of websites lost big majority of their links in Webmaster Tools. The community I mentioned above also confirmed it and backed it with their own data, meaning this thing was really global.

Webmaster Tools Links to Your Site Sudden Decline

Although almost all of us saw the drastic decline of backlinks reported by GWT, the concensus seems to be that not all websites are affected.

In a relative short time, we received information from a Google representative that this is most likely just an error within Google Webmaster Tools reporting. This is also evident from the fact that most of us saw no change in ranking positions or organic traffic as a whole, which would be strange if we suddenly actually lost 80% of our backlinks.

TL;DR: Nothing to worry about. It’s not just you, it’s everyone, and it’s most likely that you didn’t really lose those links, it’s probably just a bug in the Google Webmaster Tools that should be fixed soon.

What is backlink checking alternative to Webmaster Tools?

There are several services that can be useful to check your online store’s backlinks and give you even deeper understanding of your backlink profile than GWT. My personal favorite is SEOmoz’s OpenSiteExplorer. There’s also MajesticSEO‘s solution and Ahref‘s solution.

If you’d like to learn more about the differences and which one is better, there’s a nice case study on SEOBook’s website.

UPDATE: Google Fixed the Bug

As reported by Search Engine Round Table, Google has fixed the bug that caused backlinks to disapear in Google Webmaster Tools. I can confirm that across sites I manage links are now back to normal.

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  1. We are a fairly new website. We had a drop of 60 % of inbound links overnight. The only thing we have done 2 weeks back is to move from HTTP to HTTPS. Has it got any impact on this?

  2. Sir
    This is Maqbul. I have two blogs and Suddenly in my webmaster tools, all links are disappeared from google webmaster tools except 300 links [ previously I had 12000 links ].
    My sites are ranking well but why this happens. Is this happen by any change in .htaccess or robots.txt file. Do I need to do anything? Please reply must

  3. I have a question. In my webmaster tools console, I see links from Google itself. It shows that I have 8 links from Does anyone know what this means, or where these links would come from?


  4. It happens again. Few week ago all my backlinks dissappear from WMT… and I’m still waiting for that reporting fix… Probably I won’t live that much to see it.

  5. This seems to be a problem from 2014. But I’ve started facing this problem now in 2017. What does that mean? Also there’s a drop in search traffic by 60-70%
    How to understand if my website is penalized or not?

  6. My backlinks were 3200+ for many years. Not much changes. Suddenly it became “0” …now showing 280 links and my website traffic dropped significantly. We’ve submitted disavow for some bad backlinks and most of the backlinks missing right now were from reputable websites and natural. Any idea if we are victim of a bloody bug or it’s from our end?


  7. I lost a lot of my backlinks in Google Webmaster. In fact according to my guestimate I have over 50,000 to my site although my ranking doesn’t reflect this. I used logic in working out roughly how many links 26K on the front and underestimating an average of 20 per page on 1,000 pages on my art site Femme Classic Art. So what gives? I have no idea and there is no way to to find out if I have done something wrong with my site, You would think Google Pluses would hold it in good stead.
    Chris Burgess

  8. Thank you for the post, however if it’s not due to Google’s Webmaster tool error how can I tell which link have been lost any why? Are there any other tools you’d recommend?


  9. Hi Dear,

    there are 2 important things missed in yallabook web master tool. 1st content key word which i belive essential to know where we stand for. more over which is same importance, we missed all of out back link. so we are unable to set plan to figure out which link we should bulilt and who is already. other tools is preimum and will cost money. who can solve these issue and when it can be solved. and does it for all website or only.

    please refer back me as we are facing real trubble.

    Best regards,

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