Google Search Console Links Report Showing Fewer Links?

I am hearing numerous reports from SEOs that the link report within Google Search Console is showing drastically fewer links than it did a month prior. I am not sure if this is impacting all SEO, but there are a number of SEOs complaining about this.

First to notify me of this is Leonard Brahm @LeonardBrahm and then I spotted complaints on WebmasterWorld and Google Webmaster Help Forums. Leonard saw a 30% drop in the number of links reported for one of the sites he has access to.

Here are some of the other complaints:

Is anyone noticing a huge drop in external backlink count from real, high-DA domains on GSC? Google dropped over 1,000 links in one shot, leaving the crap .id site links (that I have blocked in my disavow file) intact, and instead removing links from very high-quality / high domain authority sites.

Is Google zapping valid links now or is it just not indexing the content anymore, so the links are dropping off? Could it be that once Google includes the page in its AI dataset that it no longer intends to keep the page in the live index?

By the way, I’ve also noticed that with the links. In addition, the pages in the index continue to fall, now there are already 20,000 URLs that are not indexed according to Search Console.

Just checked and my total backlinks today has dropped ~60%.

Was consistent for months prior.

In google search console all the external links to my homepage have disappeared. I had 483 links to the homepage and I check once a week. I checked and the site/page is indexed, still ranking, no penalties, redirects appear to be working correctly and I am in the right prefix of the site for the report. What would cause this? Should I worry my rank will drop and there is a technical error on site or a penalty coming?

The last time I reported on a link drop in Google Search Console was June 2023 where Google eventually confirmed a bug with the link report.

Here is what I see now (more links than I did then, but there was a bug):

Google Search Console Links

Here is a screenshot from June 2023 showing 215,000 links:

Google Links Report 2023

Here is a screenshot from July 2022 showing 550,000 links:

click for full size

October 2019 at 1.2 million links:

Gsc Link Count Drop

August 2018 at 2.5 million links:

click for full size

Did you notice a drop in links in this report?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Google Webmaster Help Forums.

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