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Why My External Links Disappear From Google Search Console

Have you ever logged into your Google Search Console, only to find that a significant number of your external links have mysteriously vanished? You’re not alone.


Many website owners experience this puzzling scenario, where backlinks that show up in other tools like Ahrefs or Moz are nowhere to be found in Google’s own console.


This can be frustrating, especially when you rely on these links to improve your site’s SEO performance. One common reason for this issue is that Google periodically refreshes its system, and it can take some time for the bots to recrawl and reindex all your backlinks.

But that's just the beginning—there are some other shit that could be happening here. In this post, we talk about the potential reasons behind disappearing links, share real-life testimonials, and offer actionable steps to address this issue.



Links Disappear From Google Search Console


 

When I first started using the GSC, I was amazed at the great information it provided about my site’s performance.

The search Console is an essential tool for anyone serious about SEO. It helps you monitor your site’s traffic, identify issues, and understand how people find you online.


But sometimes, it throws a curveball—like when your external links suddenly vanish. This tool is crucial for tweaking and perfecting your site to climb up those search rankings, but it can also be a bit of a mother fucker, especially when things don’t seem to add up.



Other Possible Causes for Disappearing Links


So, what could be causing your external links to disappear from Google Search Console? Here are a few possible reasons, based on our 15 years working with SEO and what I've learned from others in the same boat.


1. System Refreshes:

Google periodically updates and refreshes its indexing system. When this happens, it can temporarily lose track of some backlinks until the bots have a chance to recrawl and reindex your site. It's like when you clean your room and temporarily misplace a favorite book—eventually, it turns up again.


2. Algorithm Updates:

Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms to improve search results. Sometimes, these updates can affect how backlinks are recognized and displayed. If Google deems some links to be less valuable, they might not show up in Search Console.


3. Manual Actions:

If Google identifies low-quality or spammy links pointing to your site, it might manually remove or devalue them. This could happen without any notification, leaving you wondering why your link count has dropped.


4. Technical Glitches:

Like any complex system, Google Search Console isn't immune to bugs and glitches. Sometimes, links might disappear due to temporary technical issues, only to reappear once the problem is fixed.


5. Link Quality and Relevance:

Google’s algorithm evaluates the quality and relevance of your backlinks. If it decides that some links are not relevant or high-quality, they might not be counted. This can be particularly frustrating if you’ve put a lot of effort into building those links.


6. Delayed Crawling:

Sometimes, it simply takes Google longer to find and index new links. This delay can mean that while your new backlinks appear in other tools quickly, they take a bit longer to show up in Search Console.



 

Analysis with Other Tools

Let’s talk about why your backlinks might show up in other tools like Ahrefs or Moz but not in Google Search Console. First off, it's important to understand that each of these tools has its own way of finding and indexing links.


1. Crawling Frequency:

Tools like Ahrefs and Moz crawl the web at different rates. They might discover new links faster than Google, which could explain why you see them in those tools but not in Search Console right away.


2. Indexing Methods:

These tools use their own algorithms and methods to index backlinks. They might prioritize different factors compared to Google, leading to variations in which links are recorded and displayed.


3. Data Sources:

Ahrefs, Moz, and other SEO tools often have extensive databases built from their web crawls. They might include links that Google has not yet processed or deemed less relevant, which is why you might see a more comprehensive list in these tools.


4. Reporting Differences:

The way these tools report data can differ from Google. For example, they might show all detected backlinks, while Google might filter out certain types of links based on its quality criteria.


In essence, the differences between these tools and Google Search Console can be attributed to variations in crawling schedules, indexing priorities, and data reporting methods. This doesn't necessarily mean one tool is better than the other; it just means they each have their own strengths and limitations.



 

Users Stories


Hearing about others' experiences can be incredibly reassuring when you're facing issues with your external links in Google Search Console. Here are some real-life testimonials from people who have faced similar problems and how they managed to resolve them.


The Disappearing Act

One user on Webmasters Stack Exchange noticed that 90% of their external links had suddenly disappeared from Google Search Console.

Initially, they were concerned it might be a manual penalty or a severe algorithm update. However, after some investigation and patience, the links reappeared.

It turned out to be a temporary glitch in Google's system. This user emphasized the importance of not panicking and waiting a bit before taking drastic measures.


The Delay Dilemma

Another user shared their experience on Quora. They were frustrated because their new backlinks weren't showing up in Google Search Console, despite appearing in tools like Ahrefs. After a few weeks, the links finally appeared. They learned that Google's indexing process can sometimes be slower, especially for new links, and that patience is key. This user also recommended using multiple tools to get a comprehensive view of your backlinks.


The Refresh and Recrawl

On Google Support, a user reported that all their backlinks had vanished from Google Search Console. After raising a support ticket and discussing with other webmasters, they discovered that it was due to a refresh in Google's indexing system.

Over time, as Google recrawled their site, the backlinks started reappearing. This experience highlighted the importance of regularly monitoring your site and not jumping to conclusions too quickly.


The Algorithm Update Impact

A user on Webmasters Stack Exchange shared that following a major Google algorithm update, many of their backlinks disappeared. They initially feared a penalty but eventually learned from community feedback that it was part of Google's reassessment of link quality.


Over the next month, as their site continued to get recrawled, the backlinks gradually returned. The user stressed the need to focus on creating high-quality content and ensuring your backlinks are from reputable sources to avoid such issues in the future.


 

Steps to Address the Issue

If you find that your external links have disappeared from Google Search Console, don’t panic. Here are some steps you can take to address the issue:


1. Be Patient:

Sometimes, Google’s indexing system takes time to recrawl and reindex your links. Give it a few days to see if the links reappear on their own.


2. Check for Algorithm Updates:

Look into recent Google algorithm updates. Changes in how Google evaluates and displays backlinks can temporarily affect your link count.


3. Quality Audit:

Conduct an audit of your backlinks to ensure they are high-quality and relevant. Tools like Ahrefs and Moz can help you identify potentially problematic links.


4. Use Multiple Tools:

Cross-check your backlinks with other SEO tools. This will give you a broader view of your backlink profile and help you identify discrepancies.


5. Report Issues:

If the problem persists, use the feedback option in Google Search Console to report the issue. Provide as much detail as possible to help Google’s support team investigate.


6. Monitor Regularly:

Regularly check your backlinks in Google Search Console and other tools. Staying proactive can help you catch and address issues early.


7. Focus on Content:

Continue to create high-quality content and build reputable backlinks. This not only helps with SEO but also ensures your site remains valuable to visitors.



 

What I think?

It’s not uncommon for external links to disappear from Google Search Console due to system refreshes, algorithm updates, and other technical reasons.

While this can be frustrating, understanding the possible causes and taking proactive steps can help mitigate the issue.

It's also important to remember that relying solely on Google for your business's online presence can be risky. Diversifying your traffic sources and building a robust online presence across multiple platforms can provide more stability and security for your business.

Stay informed, be patient, and continue to focus on quality content and reputable backlinks to maintain your site's health and performance.





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