Changes in Webmaster Tools Link Data Categorization
Links to your website are divided by Google Webmaster Tools into two categories – internal links (links originating within your site) and external links (links from external websites). With the latest changes in link data categorization, the total number of links will remain unchanged, but there will be some changes in the number of internal and external links. The update will result in a more accurate alignment of your backlinks.
Webmaster Tools allows you to manage many different types of websites like sites in a subfolder (www.xyz.com/health/), a subdomain (health.xyz.com) or a main domain (xyz.com). Until now, only those links that began with a website’s exact URL were categorized as internal. This means that if your site URL is www.xyz.com/users/health/, previously, links from www.xyz.com or ww.xyz.com/users/ used to be considered as external. Only links like www.xyz.com/users/health/profile.html were categorized as internal.
Even if you entered www.xyz.com as your URL, links from xyz.com were categorized as external because the URL is not exactly same in the two cases. The latest changes ensure a more accurate categorization.
A majority of people consider www.xyz.com and xyz.com as the same. Subsequent to the recent changes, links from both the versions, with and without www, will be categorized as internal, regardless of which version you add as your site. Moreover, as many domain owners also own its subdomains, links from these sites will also be categorized as internal links. This means that the number of internal links is likely to increase and external links will decrease, although the total number of links will remain the same.
Our SEO course Toronto can help you gain detailed understanding of your site’s link profile and how it affects its search rank.