Missing lots of your links in Google Webmaster Tools? You are not alone.

Couple of days ago I have noticed suspicious reductions in the amount of link data in one of my client’s Google Webmaster Tools. We worked very hard to produce quality content and distributed it through social media accounts, so people can link back to us. Tons of work and time went into this. And now I have to send my client an email about almost all of their links missing.

It went from bad to worse – from almost 30k links to around 2k and today it’s 48. Wow… I had no words when I saw this. At first, link disavow tool came to mind, but it just did not make sense. After couple of hours of research it turned out I was not the only one having this problem. People all over the web are having the same problem.

This is what Google has to say so far:

Known issue: links to your site data issues

“Some Webmaster Tools users have reported missing data in the “Links to your site” section. We are aware of this issue and are looking into it; you do not need to take any action. We hope to have the normal data shown again in the near future. The data shown there is informational and does not affect your site’s crawling, indexing or ranking.”

 

Also, note that these changes are not likely to affect your rankings, as this might be just a temporary error.

To check your link data – login to your Google Webmaster Tools, click on Traffic in Dashboard, and then on Links to Your Site. Here you can find and analize such data as Who links the most, Your most linked content and How your data is linked.

Looking forward to seeing what is going on let’s hope this issue will be resolved soon :)

WordPress 3 custom search

Sometimes there is a need to limit WordPress search to one category. WordPress uses searchform.php template, if your theme doesn’t have this template – generic search form is pulled from WordPress core. In this case you need to create searchform.php file in your theme and insert following

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<div class="customsearch>
     <form method="get" id="searchform" action="<?php bloginfo('home'); ?>/">
           <div class="searchinput>
                  <input type="text" value="<?php echo wp_specialchars($s, 1); ?>" name="s" id="s" />
                      <?php if ( is_page('22') || in_category('19') || post_is_in_descendant_category( get_term_by( 'name','video','category' ) ) ) { ?>
                 <input type="hidden" name="cat" value="19" />
                     <?php } else {} ?>
                  <input type="submit" id="searchsubmit" value="Search" />
            </div><!--endsearchinput-->
     </form>
</div><!--end customsearch-->

In this case we have page (ID=22) which displays parent category “video” with ID 19, and we need to search only this category and all child categories. Just replace IDs.