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Google’s Nathan Johns said at PubCon yesterday that you do not need to use third-party link tools, that all you need to worry about are the links reported in Google Search Console’s link tool. This is despite Google’s tool only showing you a sample of the links you really have.
Here is Jen’s tweet covering this statement from his talk:
Do we need to worry about links not reported in GSC? Nathan: Treat the links in GSC as canonical. Don’t need to worry about links if they are not showing up in GSC, you don’t need third party tools. @nathanjohns #pubcon
— Jennifer Slegg (@jenstar) October 9, 2019
Now, to be clear, Google has said this before. Two different Googlers prior to Nathan said you do not need third-party linking tools. Here are those quotes:
Aaseesh said “You can get a good idea of your backlink profile from the links provided in the ‘Links to Your Site’ section under ‘Traffic’ in your Webmaster Tools account. You can use that download a sample of your site’s backlinks from there and remove any unnatural link you find.”
John Mueller confirmed that saying that you do not need to use third-party tools and that Google Webmaster Tools is fine. He did say, sometimes third-party tools may help with cleaner reports but not needed.
So what Nathan said yesterday is not new, John said even with the sample of links, it is fine:
Yes, it’s a sample of all known links.
— ? John ? (@JohnMu) October 10, 2019
Of course, most SEOs probably won’t believe in this advice:
Link exports from Google Search Console are capped at 100k links. This limit exists on all versions of a domain in GSC, so it’s not a data limit but a reporting limit.
So GSC doesn’t give you all the link data Google has on your site, and you still need 3rd party tools. https://t.co/unzlgwtDwY
— Barry Adams (@badams) October 10, 2019
— Heckler (@hecklerponics) October 9, 2019
Forum discussion at Twitter.