Linking Domains Tool Results Inaccurate?

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Regular Contributor

We have been using the Hubspot "Links" report under the Analytics tab. It's showing 33 domains linking to our site. However, external tools are showing many more. For instance, Moz Link Explorer shows 323, and Google Search Console is showing 96. Has anyone else found the Hubspot report to be inaccurate?

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Regular Advisor

Hey @ericthomas ,

 

That's a bit weird, I haven't experienced anything like this before.  I'll ask a few questions which may seem like no-brainers but I've been caught by them before!

 

- How do you have the tracking embed installed?  

- Is your tracking embed installed on all pages or just some?

- Make sure you're looking at the same date range in the HS links tool as the other tools (can't tell you how many times I've been caught by this)

 

This article could help, but it's really just more explanation into the tool itself.  Hope this helps!

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Community Manager

Hey @ericthomas 

 

I wanted to share this resource with you which discusses the differences between both platforms regarding reports. 

 

Hey @Bryantworks @ConnorSlivensky have you experienced anything similar as @ericthomas is referring to?

 

@ericthomas If this does not answer your original question, could you please send me a screenshot with the report?

 

Thank you 

Sharon

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Regular Contributor

Hi Sharon,

 

Thanks for sending the link. I read the article, but it seemed to be all about traffic. Our traffic reports in Hubspot match Google Analytics more or less.

 

I'm trying to determine why the number of linking domains seems to be off by an order of magnitude in Hubspot when compared to other tools. 

 

Thanks,

Eric

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Regular Advisor

Hey @ericthomas ,

 

That's a bit weird, I haven't experienced anything like this before.  I'll ask a few questions which may seem like no-brainers but I've been caught by them before!

 

- How do you have the tracking embed installed?  

- Is your tracking embed installed on all pages or just some?

- Make sure you're looking at the same date range in the HS links tool as the other tools (can't tell you how many times I've been caught by this)

 

This article could help, but it's really just more explanation into the tool itself.  Hope this helps!

Regular Contributor

@Bryantworks ,

 

Thanks for your thoughts. In answer to your questions,

  • Our site is hosted by Hubspot, so their tracking code is automatically built in. I have the standard Google tracking code installed in the header of every page, according to the HS instructions. However, I don't know if Moz, Google, or HS use tracking codes on our site to monitor linking domains but rather just utilize data from crawling the web.
  • When running the "Links" report in HS, I set the date range to "all time"; I don't see a date range option on Moz.

Thanks for sending the HS help article. I noticed something in there that might be the root of the discrepancy:

 

"The links tool calculates the total number of linking domains using data recorded from Moz when your account was first created, along with updated referral traffic from your sources report over time."

 

It sounds like HS just checked the Moz data once when we joined and then just waits for new referral traffic to add domains to the inbound links report. It seems like going directly to Moz would result in fresher, more accurate data, even if a bunch of those linking domains haven't passed any traffic to our site recently.

 

Thanks again for your thoughts.

 

Eric

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Advisor

Possibly stupid question.... Are both counting domains? HubSpot could be counting 33 domains while Moz might be counting pages (like 53 facebook pages counting as 1 in HubSpot)

 

I don't have much experience with Moz so I'm not sure how it handles that but that's all I could think of that @Bryantworks didn't address

Community Thought Leader

 

hubspot-backlinks-dont-match-google.pngSource: Moz Blog - Why Counting Links- Is Not So Easy (2011)We know of no generic "Analytics tab" in HubSpot Reporting. We only see ...
- Traffic Analytics
- Campaign Analytics
- Website Analytics

 

Each tracks different analytics (with some overlap). Backlinks are mainly tracked in the Traffic Analytics tab.


That being said, top services that report backlinks do so by referencing their own internal link database built by crawling the web day after day. Google is the undisputed leader in the space (for obvious reasons), and only Ahrefs comes close to matching that elephant in the room.
- see Ahrefs


Attempting to match backlink reporting data across tools, even those as comprehensive as Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMRush will only confuse + frustrate. Any reporting equality across backlink analytics tools is more a result of coincidence than true correlation. (HubSpot included)


The above withstanding, and to further confound, here's a 2011 Moz article on which both Moz's Dr. Pete Meyers and Cyrus Shepard comment. A seemingly simple, yet extremely complex topic with no 'easy' answers.
- see Why Counting Links Is Not So Easy

 

Bottom line?

 

Different tools/services count links differently. No way around that.

 

Help answer your question? If so, remember to accept this solution now.

 

Best,
Frank

Chief HubSpot Consultant


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MFrankJohnson.com | Perfect HubSpot Series | Connect on LinkedIn

Help find posts quickly ... accept this solution now.

Hope that helps.

 

Best,
Frank

 

MFrankJohnson-dot-com-HubSpot-Community-banner-gif-v20190817

Regular Contributor

Hi Frank,

 

Thanks for your thoughts. The Hubspot report I'm looking at is here: Reports > Analytics Tools > Links. Just to be clear, I'm not looking at the Traffic Analytics report but rather in the Links report.

 

It appears that Hubspot just pulls the initial data from Moz when you create an account and then adds any new referring domains it sees come through. Moz, on the other hand, relys on other services, like Majestic, that crawl the web on an ongoing basis looking for links. These different methods produce very different results I guess.

 

Thanks again for your reply.


Eric