I've read quite a bit and spent countless hours last month trying to improve SEO for a website I've built. I understand there's no way to see 100% of the backlinks and various tools give only part of the picture, so in general the advice seems to be to use various tools to get a clearer picture. What stumbles me, is that many tools report there's no backlinks to our website. Even though it's been around for many months, and I don't see any reason which could explain why. Here's a copy-paste of what WMT reports:

Links to Your Site

Total links

No data available.

Who links the most

No data available.

Similarly, other tools I tried many times, ahrefs, Moz Open Site Explorer and SEM rush show little or no backlinks. Here's the output from OSE:

It looks like we haven't discovered link data for this site or URL.

But I know for a fact we have at least 30-40 backlinks, most from quality and known sites. An exact search by our domain name in Google ("example.com") shows this. So I'm really scratching my head at this point... And I'm quite concerned, since our SEO is horrible so far. I've built many sites in the last 10 years, but never have I had such a hard time with getting decent SEO results as in this case.

  • Ok I removed the "offending" data. But it's just going to complicate debugging this I believe. – deryb Apr 1 '15 at 15:34
  • @John Conde Can you update this or be more specific if I need to edit anything else? I removed the link and paragraph about my actual website, but the rest of the question is quite on topic I believe and useful to others who might have the same issue of too few backlinks on reporting tools. – deryb Apr 3 '15 at 15:06

A backlink search is never exact nor instant, but you already know that. Have you physically verified backlinks on the sites that show up on Google? Are they follow or nofollow? How long ago did they appear on the site? (I've seen backlinks take 2 months+ to finally hit search engines.) These questions are good starting points.

Chances are, you're OK and you just have to play the waiting game with Google. Do your best to verify and wait for a few months. Other than that, without a website, I couldn't possibly double check anything.

  • Thanks! Should I post the link to my website then? My question was marked "on hold - off topic" like 5 minutes after I posted it, and it's been so for about a day until now. So I tend to agree with you, I think it's hard to debug this without knowing the website. Can I PM you perhaps? And thanks for the follow vs nofollow point, I just read about this, I did not know this important fact. Yea some I've just seen are nofollow so I guess 0 points for SEO (Yelp and Trip Advisor), although these probably help a lot to bring actual humans ;-)). – deryb Apr 3 '15 at 20:38

Data is not available, just because you did not get much traffic from any site. It's all about where you put links on other site, or How people linked to your site.

Suppose you are commenting on some site, but what if the site owner added the nofollow attribute on comments, and now a day's mostly all site owner and mostly all CMS like WordPress use nofollow attribute at most links, so simple when Google spider come to that site, then they simply ignore your link and not crawl your page from the other site. So simply Google not count that link on GWT(Google Webmaster Tool).

Your SEO :- Just open Google and type this : link:www.example.com, then go to 2nd onward pages, you will see your links on different site, but most of they are using nofollow attributes. So that's your SEO, you did not get dofollow traffic from any site, Hence the data is not available.

adding links anywhere is not part of SEO, you should have high quality of content. then people will link your site, Then you will get your result on GWT tool. I don't know the URL of your site, Otherwise some of people will help you to which technique you should use for better visibility on Search engine.

  • Thanks! Yes I did this for a small sample of sites we are listed on (we gathered a list and started reviewing these in last few weeks) to make sure the content is "SEO optimized" (contains correct anchor words, etc). On 15 links reviewed so far (of 60 in total), 50% are dofollow. But GWT and Moz OSE still shows no data avail. Ahrefs is finding some on the other hand... So I'm still wondering why is this? Could it be just it takes longer for these tools to update? It's been at least a few weeks now some of these links were added. – deryb Apr 6 '15 at 15:36
  • Oh, and is it ok to post my site's url here? My post was marked "off topic" when I had this info here at first (so I removed it). – deryb Apr 6 '15 at 15:38

Ok, this has finally been partially answered. Thanks still for the various posts to try and help. So, now we have started to get some backlinks listed in GWT (16 so far). Still some other tools are not yet up-to-date. But I guess is that it just takes time for such tools to update their data, and the speed at which they do varies from case-to-case. All in all, I guess a couple of days, perhaps weeks, should be expected between added links & reported data changes... The fastest so far in my case was Ahrefs, which seems to be a good resource for all SEO aspects.

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