Google Says Links Have To Be On Indexed Pages To Be Counted & Not All Indexed Links Are Counted

Google said it is okay to ignore toxic links that some tools are reporting but why? Well, we know that for a link to be counted by Google the page linking out needs to be indexed by Google in the first place. Plus, Google, since Penguin 4.0, doesn’t even count all links, even if they are on indexed pages. So it makes you wonder, why are so many SEOs buying links if it is hard to know if they really work?

This topic came up again when Ori Zilbershtein asked on Twitter about if a link that is toxic is counted if the page that link is on, is not in Google’s index. Here are those questions:

John Mueller of Google replied, as you’d expect, “If they’re not indexed, I wouldn’t assume the links do anything.”

John then explained two important points:

(1) Links that are on indexed pages can be ignored by Google anyway.

(2) There is no API for testing if a page is indexed

John explained that there is no way for a tool to know if a page is indexed “without breaking our TOS.” Of course, most of the tools break the TOS anyway, and Google looks the other way.

But again, if you love using the disavow file, you can – if it makes you sleep better but sometimes disavowing too much can hurt.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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