|Strange differences between link: operator and Webmaster Tools|
I've been cultivating links to my relatively new site, and watching the number of external links to my site grow in Webmaster tools.
Yesterday, though, I saw that the number of external links in Webmaster tools had declined about 10%. So, today, I just went to Google.com and did a link:www.mysite.com search. The number of external links was half of what Webmaster tools was previously reporting.
Another oddity was that one of the sites listed as linking to mine is a directory that I never submitted to. Even stranger is that, if I check the cache, Google says the site can't be found. If I do a site:www.thatdirectory.com search, Google returns no results.
The discrepancy between Webmaster Tools (available only to you) and the publicly available link: operator is not a mystery - it's standard operating procedure for Google. In our Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page, you will find this informative thread:
Google link: operator FAQ [webmasterworld.com]
it's not like other search engines
About that ghost-like directory - hard to say. Try checking it on Yahoo Site Explorer. If they've got it, you may be seeing a temporary glitch on Google. If they don't, then some funny business may be going on.
|Another oddity was that one of the sites listed as linking to mine is a directory that I never submitted to. Even stranger is that, if I check the cache, Google says the site can't be found. If I do a site:www.thatdirectory.com search, Google returns no results. |
I've come across that same oddity as well. I did note that I was however able to locate it in Yahoo's site explorer as well and view a cache of the page.
When time permits, maybe I will track a couple and see what happens, maybe even browse Googles webmasters group to see if those sites pop up on why they aren't showing up in Google and how they can fix the penalty.
My site was banned for a week. It's back in the index with similar rankings but the backlink list in Webmaster Tools is empty. Link command shows some links. Should I be worried or is it normal for a site to lose certain information when banned? Or have they taken away my link juice by hand :(
b2net, maybe what's happening to you is happening to me.
I just checked Google Webmaster tools, and they're showing the same number of external links.
But now when I go to Google.com and do a link: search, it's only returning 12 results! If I click on the "results omitted line," it returns the same 12 results plus some of the pages on my site.
I've done everything white hat, and I've checked on directories and sites that I submit to. I don't get this.
Tedster, I hope point #4 in the post you provided the link to is correct. I've been working away on this site for five months and have been making steady progress, only to see this happen.
|back in the index with similar rankings but the backlink list in Webmaster Tools is empty... have they taken away my link juice by hand |
If your rankings are the same, it seems like you must still be getting the backlink juice.
I just thought someone might be interested in this. Today I did a link:www.mysite.com search, and Google returned just one link from another site. Google didn't even have the "omitted results" line.
I've never seen this before.
I have been seeing... and hearing about... some strange reporting anomalies, both in GWT and in the various specialized operators. Maybe some of them are related to the roll-out of new features in Webmaster Tools [webmasterworld.com].
I agree with you Dick, it's worth sharing these. Interesting anomalies can sometimes add up to very useful information.
As a general rule, I try never to base actions solely on Google's reporting features. Nothing beats my own data - knowing where links are from the referes in my own server logs, seeing what traffic I know I'm getting, and so on. And even then, having a well tuned "nose" for buggy data is important.
Thanks for the reply, Tedster. I just did another link: search for a site of mine that's been around for three years. The site has thousands of links to it, and gets over 200,000 visitors a month from the links as well as the SE's.
The link:www.myoldersite.com search returned just 13 links from other sites.
It has to be, as you suggested, a glitch in Google's implementation of new tools.