If you’ve been browsing through your Google Webmaster Tools lately you might have noticed that there are some missing links in the “Links to your site” section. Some people have reported that up to 80 percent of their backlinks are no longer there. This is obviously causing some pretty widespread panic for many individuals who worry that missing links will cause them to lose their rankings. With the amount of time and money some people spend on building these links it is no surprise that they are freaking out a little bit.
Fear not, however, as Google has confirmed that this is a bug which they are aware of and are actively investigating. They’ve also confirmed that the bug is only affecting which backlinks are displayed in Webmaster Tools, not which ones are counted for evaluating site rankings and other things. Even sites which appear to be missing thousands of links are still going to rank the same as ever, and their sites will continue to be crawled like normal.
This little bug came at the wrong time for many webmasters because there is also an active Google update rolling out so many webmasters undoubtedly assumed that they were getting a Google smack from the update. Since many site owners get their backlinks from questionable sources they are often overly concerned about these types of things. This is just one more reason why those who use only ‘white-hat’ SEO strategies will not only get better results in the long run, but will also experience far less stress and anxiety.
Have you noticed any missing links in your webmaster tools profile? If so, what were your thoughts? You can see the announcement from Google about this bug HERE.