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Google WMT shows all my site as interlinked and they are NOT

3:59 pm on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Is this an error or some strange logic in the way WMT operates? And how common is this for people with multiple sites in one WMT account?

I have about a dozen of sites in this WMT account. Every site shows that it's linked to by every other site, from every single page of those respective sites to sitemap.xml or each given site! This is a complete insanity! If you look at my WMT->Traffic->Links to your site, you would think that I'm running some kind of a link wheel or something.

Every link looks the same: when you open its details, it shows that every site's page (site1.com/anypage) is linking to the other site's sitemap.xml (site2.com/sitemap.xml) "via this intermediate link": site1.com/sitemap.xml

I have been over all the sites high and low, opened every piece of HTML, XML and PHP code involved and there's absolutely nothing that links the sites together, except of course my WMT account. Some use Analytics code, some don't. Some use the same template (customized to the site, obviously), and some don't. All sites have sitemap.xml files, named exactly that.

Anyone thinks I should chuck it up to an unspecified bug in WMT or should I investigate further (in which direction tho?) or should I send an RR about this phenomenon? What would you put in an RR link this? The traffic does not seem to be affected by this, so I'm not certain how to even word an RR about an issue that's not related to the site's standing (at least not yet, but it makes me plenty worried).

Any input will be greatly appreciated!
8:17 pm on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

Ah, "via this intermediate link", otherwise known as "via this intermediate figment of the imagination". I once posted under that very name. (Matter of fact, the identical thing has recently happened again-- this time with the further quirk that the "intermediate" page ceased to exist almost a year ago, long before G "discovered" it. Hey, if G wants to think a site with .gov. in its name is linking to me, I'm not going to complain.)

It should disappear eventually.
12:31 am on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

Sorry to hear that 1script but I have a similarly frustrating problem in which a domain I do not own, that has never been registered to anyone, is generating zero impressions yet still appears in my dashboard(s) DAILY and throws off my averages.

Chalk it up to the fact that GWT, and adsense, have some serious reporting issues still.
3:48 am on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Thanks guys, yes I do understand bugs happen and I would not fret (much) about stats that I personally don't even use for anything important.

What I am greatly concerned about is the fact that Google employees make important decisions about my sites, such as whether to ban them all together as they did in 2011, without actually looking at the sites and flying completely on instruments, as far as I can tell. I don't know if this is not to reveal what exactly they check on my sites or simply for expediency, but the actual Google-badged (or contracted) humans do not visit the site in order to respond to a reconsideration request.

They appear to be using only the backend data and if WMT data is any indication of the quality of the data they have about my sites, I think I should be worried. In this particular example, I don't think for a second that anyone [human] at Google will make an effort to see the source of the pages they think have links to my other sites. "The backend says they're interlinked, then they're interlinked! Here, let me pick the right penalty for you!"

Anyway, this is a bizarre situation in which there's no recourse because there's really nothing I can "fix" as such because nothing is broken. I was (still am) considering sending a reconsideration report but I'm afraid all it's going to accomplish is to draw attention to the batch of bad data and nobody will take time to look at what's going on, they'll just trust the data.
4:46 am on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

Ask a few close friends to look over your source code and to see if they can spot anything too. Document your efforts and then file your reconsideration report, it's all you can do.

My best advice is to file it and forget Google, keep working on your site and let Google straighten it out. Don't stress afterwards.

Something to look for that might not be obvious, that I have seen cause a similar problem before, is a flash file or flash game. These, for whatever reason, can confuse Google when embeded with links to another site. I have one site that when I perform a site command a url to a site that is not mine appears and it's a link to a flash game (on someone else's site) that I happened to have hosted on my server for my visitors (with permission). Google thinks the other site url belongs to my domain because of the flash file!?!

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