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WMT Confuses Backlinks from Different Advertisers

     
5:36 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I hope I'm posting this in the right place and that someone out there possibly has an answer.

We have several websites where advertising is sold and all ads are run through OpenX rather than as direct links to the advertisers.

Ad advertiser contacted me yesterday with screenshots from his webmaster tools account where google is now listed more than 100k links from our various sites as links to his site. The majority of these links are not even to his site and are actually other advertisers or our own sites.

I can't find anything related to a bug in OpenX and everything is setup correctly with regards to his ads. In other words, his ads are only on the relevant site where they're supposed to be, yet links to other sites on other non-relevant websites are now being seen by webmaster tools as links to his website. I'm also not seeing this duplicated in our own webmaster tools accounts, which I assume we would seeing as I have internal links setup in openx as well.

Anyone have any idea on why webmaster tools would be counting these links as links to his site when they're not?
4:30 am on Sept 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It sounds like googlebot isn't seeing what you planned or hope when the site gets crawled. Have you used the "Fetch as googlebot" tool to see things through googlebot's eyes?
8:16 am on Sept 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It's not a bug, it's gwt dimwittedness. I've got something exactly analogous myself, just on a smaller order of magnitude. Two sites share a single piwik account that lives at one of the two. (This is the normal way to do piwik when you're tracking more than one site. Pick one site to hold all the files and data.) One day I open the Links tab in gwt and it's listing some absurd number of "links" from the other site to mine. The number corresponds exactly to the number of pages. One piwik call per page.

They simply can't distinguish between genuine contents links and, well, some function on Site A using a resource on Site B.
4:20 pm on Sept 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@lucy24, to me it seems like a bug. My questions is, does this hurt you or not? Does it hurt the "receiving end" of the links? Could it be counted as "unnatural links" by GOOG?
11:23 pm on Sept 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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They'd have a ### of a nerve counting something as an "unnatural link" when they themselves are the only ones that even see it as a link.

to me it seems like a bug

"It's not a bug, it's a feature." Or is it "A feature is a documented bug"?
11:33 pm on Sept 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@lucy24, they do have a ### of a nerve and they don't know that they are the only ones seeing it that way and I am afraid that it might hurt both sites. I hope I am wrong since I just installed piwik on one site and have another one tracked too :( Maybe have to un-install Piwik....
11:49 pm on Sept 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just install piwik on a domain thats not in use