I have a situation that I have never seen before and I didn't find any relevant questions/answers on here...I'm not new to this, I'm just hesitant to post about it so forgive my being somewhat vague:
I registered an expired domain (with nice backlinks) and redirected it to my website.
The previous registrants had created a plugin for a well-known open source CMS (with a high authority domain) and the plugin page featured a link to their site/domain (and had gotten nice coverage by blogs at the time).
I set up a 301 redirect from that domain to my domain.
My site is in the same industry/niche as theirs so the relevance is fine.
My site/domain is verified in Google Search Console/Webmaster Tools.
About a week after I set up the redirect, I checked the 'Links To My Site' report and saw a couple hundred links from
This was actually a pleasant surprise because the links were from all the different sub-domains the
domain.org uses to host content that has been translated into different languages for different countries.
A couple/few weeks later, those links weren't included in the Google Search Console 'Links To My Site' report anymore.
I know GSC reports are kinda buggy and can have long delays so I didn't really worry about it...but now it's been months.
Google found the links and reported them within a week of setting up the redirect but maybe a month later they weren't in the report anymore. That was probably 6 months ago.
The redirected domain has other nice links from blog coverage of the plugin and those show up in the 'Links To My Sites' report, the link from the plugin page still exists (I even visited it and clicked it to register the traffic in GA).
Have you ever had Google ignore links from high authority/quality sites?
I'm not interested in white/black/grey hat discussions and I'm fully aware of RankBrain and Google's increasing use of AI.
What I have never seen before is Google indexing, and then disregarding, reasonably relevant links coming from domains of the highest authority.
Anybody experienced this or have theories about it?