Solving Incoming Links Widget Problem in WordPress

June 19, 2010 by · 59 Comments
Filed under: How-To 

If you are a user, then you’d probably notice the “Incoming Links” widget that reside in your Dashboard. Recently there’s been an issue with error message being displayed. Well, if you are looking for a solution, then read on.

The “Incoming Links” widget works by searching the web for any page that is linking to any page in your website (read my post about inbound link) And the way to do that is by taking advantage of the Google Blog Search.

By sending a GET request, one can get a search result in an output. Then the WordPress engine (and its built-in function) will parse the and show the result in widget that you can custom (how many records to show, etc.)

Well, if it’s a built-in functions, then why it’s not working?
Did WordPress made a flaw in the development phase?


I don’t think a world-class team such as the WordPress Development Team, would make such silly mistake. The one reason that might cause you the error, is probably the wrong parameter for the GET request (read about HTTP GET request).

Since a response, which is the output of a GET request, is replied upon the parameters that was sent. Then sending the proper request parameter(s) is definitely an important thing to look into. So, don’t expect something in return if you can’t define your request in the correct way.

Luckily, you don’t need to be a web programmer to solve the “Incoming Links” issue. All you have to do is: change the GET request to the correct syntax (the one that is acceptable by ). And here it is:[your-]&scoring=d&ie=utf-8&num=10&output=rss

Remember to replace the highlighted syntax with your domain name
Updated: I change the ‘link:’ part with ‘link%3A’ 

Now that you have the right command, you can change the broken “Incoming Links” Widget’s RSS Feed URL. Just mouse over the Title part of the Widget (on the far right side of the “Incoming Links” text) and you will notice a “Configure” link being shown, click it and change the URL with the new one.


Configuring WordPress Incoming Links Widget

Don’t forget to click one the “Submit” button after you finished with all the available options there.


That’s it.

Unless Google made some tweaking with their Blog Search Feed, that is all you have to do.

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59 Responses to “Solving Incoming Links Widget Problem in WordPress”
  1. Formerly baffled says:

    Thank you so much for solving this issue for me. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I wasn’t seeing any incoming links since I knew there were plenty. Fantastic to have it fixed. Much appreciated.

  2. I had been searching forever for the right link for the incoming links widget, none have worked till i saw your one

    I cant thank you enough :-)

    all the best

  3. I have tried adding your link and it still gives me an error.

    The error = “RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: couldn’t connect to host”

    Is this due to other reasons or is the link wrong?

    • nichive says:

      I’ve tried this link (assuming that is you domain):
      It return no result, means none has linked to you, yet. No need to worry, time will heal everything ;)

      • Darrylmorley Uk says:

        I found the issue to be in the URL:

        I found that removing “link:” solves the issue

  4. Didn’t fix it. WordPress 3.1

  5. Sally Brown says:

    :kiki: Thank you so much. I just did a search when having a problem trying to figure this out, and you site popped up. I am so glad cause I didn’t know how to configure. I appreciate your post. Thanks, Sally

  6. Cody says:

    WordPress 3.2.1

    Getting this error message in the incoming links widget.

    RSS Error: A feed could not be found at

    What does this mean?

    • nichive says:

      It seems you still got some problem with your widget.
      It’s either because a server problem, or google simply don’t have any record upon your posts.

  7. Bethan says:

    I am having this problem and I know that several bloggers have linked to my posts.

    When I hover over the ‘incoming links’ widget nothing happens. The only option is to open or close the drop down that says ‘no incoming links have been found’ with no box for URL or anything else.

    Am I doing something wrong?!

    Any help would really be appreciated!

    • nichive says:

      Well, it’s been around for sometimes that some backlinks just “being ignored” by Google, and since we’re using Google’s blogsearch for the widget, we abide to its rule.

      I’ll see if I can make something out of this.

  8. I get this error too, seems like it just started happening in last few weeks as I always saw linkbacks previously:

    RSS Error: A feed could not be found at

  9. I did exactly what you said… the problem persists.

    Error en el RSS: A feed could not be found at

    Help please :smile:

  10. Worked well. Thanks Nichive :)

  11. Phil says:

    The issue I am seeing is that the new syntax given here works in a browser, however, WordPress (3.2.1) refuses to save the requires braces around the domain name.

    … link:[] …

    is being saved as

    … link:

    and ^^ this syntax doesn’t work.

  12. This was just what I was looking for. I followed your instructions and the RSS feed now works perfectly/ Thank you!

  13. thank you thank you thank!

  14. Ajnabii says:

    Thanks for the help RSS error problem has been solved on my blog. thank you very much.

  15. Serg says:

    I have the same problem with the incoming links. The thing is, I was able to see “1 link” a couple of days ago and now it’s gone!

    I started to check worpress forums and found a this post about editing the rss URL.
    I checked it and the only difference was the hI=en not being in the URL, so I tried it and didn’t make any difference. No incoming links showing up yet.

    My URL was fine like as seen on the link:

    I appreciate if you have any suggestions to solve this problem. Thanks so much:)

    • nichive says:

      We really are depending on Google’s blogsearch engine. The hl=en didn’t really play a crucial part, actually.

      It’s all about time, until Google pick up an incoming link to your blog (from other page, where people link to your page).

    • Nichive says:

      The point of using “Incoming Links” is to tell if there are pages across the net referring back to your page.

      That script of yours is missing the link:url part, and the result is simply enlisting all of your domain’s page.
      I don’t think that url works to get all incoming links. 

  16. Did what you said and incoming links showed instantly!

    Thank you!

  17. Mark Carter says:

    Tried doing what you said and incoming links show up in the browser but in wordpress 3.3.1 they do not. Word press takes away the [] around the URL of my site.  

  18. Kyle Harris says:

    i also have the same problem tried multiple things but nothings working just keep getting rss error, my url is can u help me out,

    strange thing is my other wordpress sites works fine 

    • Nichive says:

      After a brief inspection, your site is simply new. Not much of pages can be found over there, and it’s more likely no one have post any referring link to your page. That’s why google found no page (thus, no result).

  19. Angudy says:

  20. Thanks — did what you said, but am still getting an error message. The blog has been around since 2009, so not sure why it says a feed could not be found. 

  21. Ajnabii says:

    Well  nice informative post, I did same that you mentioned in your post but still i’m getting same error RSS feed could not be found. i think something is wrong in wordpress ?

  22. Robin says:

    that was SO simple – bless your heart

  23. Paracoupons says:

    I tried this buy the error keeps showing in the “Incomming Links” box.
    Please help!!!

  24. Luishi says:

    Thank you, I was looking for this one. I had the error in a couple of my blogs.

  25. Ramandeep says:

    Does not worked for me?
    i m using wp3.4

  26. Worked thanks so much!

  27. Paul Murray says:

    This this still correct? It doesn’t seem to work for my blog, though I know people are linking to me. Yet when I use that address with my own domain inserted, it comes back as an empty feed so I don’t know what to think.

    Any suggestions? I’m going to speak to my web host and see what they say.

    • Nichive says:

      What version of WordPress do you use?
      How old are your domain?

      Have you tried query the blogsearch request, manually?

      Those are some question that you should provide so I can help you.

      • Paul Murray says:

        Hi Nichive, I’m using version 3.4 and my domain is a couple of years old. Searching for links to my site through Google shows some results, my analytics show much more.

        I found including the ‘www.’ before my domain resulted in links being shown on the dashboard, but today they’ve gone and now I only get one.

        I’m not sure what’s going on. I’ve read that the Google API is no longer supported. I can still find inbound links via webmaster tools but it’s nice to be able to see them when I check my dashboard :)

        • Nichive says:

          I’ve tried to search it on the Google Blogsearch page, and.. no result.

          It seems that there are differences between “incoming links” and the google “link:” search.

          • Paul Murray says:

            Yeah, today all my links are gone, yet they were there yesterday. I guess I’ll just have to check manually through webmaser tools. Thanks anyway :)

  28. Nichive says:

    Anyone tested it with WP 3.4?

  29. Thank you it works. I am using WP 3.4.1.

  30. Thank you it works. I am using WP 3.4.1. At first I did not have inbound links and I guess since I was starting to get them due to some marketing it was not right and gave the error.

  31. Maria Ana says:

    hello there, I am having the same problem.. and I tried the syntax you gave and replaced the highlighted with my domain but still didn’t work.. dont know exactly what to do.. thanks .. 

  32. TweetsOfSumit says:

    i’m using 3.5 – does not work. Incoming links havent worked for me since 2.8…

  33. Best Wedding Insurance says:

    Great. This has really helped me out. Thank you.


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