You may have heard that the activity of referring domains is a bad practice for SEO. But what’s so wrong about this? I’ll introduce you to how referrals work, and why it can be helpful in your marketing strategy.
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. Referring domains are the websites that link back to your website. The “difference between backlinks and referring domains” is explained here.
It’s no secret that link building and search engine optimization (SEO) go hand in hand.
One cannot exist without the other.
A strong link profile improves your chances of ranking for the keyword phrase you’re after, resulting in more organic search traffic to your site.
Backlinks and referring domains are two elements of a good link profile.
But what’s the difference between backlinks and referring domains?
Backlinks transfer visitors from one website to another, whereas referring domains are the websites from which the backlinks originate, as you’ll see below.
Search engines utilize backlinks to assess the popularity of a website’s content, while referring domains are used to detect which sites are connecting to another site.
Beginners frequently have trouble distinguishing between referring domains and backlinks, yet both are crucial for SEO. Knowing how search engines understand them may help you improve your search engine ranks, traffic, and conversion rates.
Let’s have a look at the specifics below!
Backlinks vs. Referring Domains
Your backlinks come from referring domains, while backlinks are the actual connections on websites that link back to your web pages. A website may have one or more backlinks from a referring domain.
What Is a Backlink, Exactly?
A backlink, also known as an inbound link, is a hyperlink that refers to a certain page on your website from another website. From the same page or site, you might get many backlinks.
Links may be included into text, buttons, pictures, and other objects. When Google scans the links on a new page on your site, it looks to see if there are any additional sites worth following.
The clickable words in the hyperlink are known as the links anchor text when backlinks are integrated in text. Google gives anchor text a lot of weight when it comes to ranking. It provides context for the user as to where the link will take them and what the content will be about.
Backlinks are a common SEO strategy for improving search ranks, enhancing subject authority, and increasing relevance with your target audience.
According to Ahrefs for keyword optimization, they’re one of the most essential elements in ranking on Google.
What Effect Do Backlinks Have on SEO?
Backlinks have an influence on SEO since they operate as a vote of confidence in your website. More votes are better, but the number of connections isn’t the sole factor to consider.
Quality matters as well.
The higher your ranking in SERPs, the more votes you get from reliable sites (referring domains).
Backlinks aren’t all created equal.
The bread and butter of SEO is backlinks. They inform search engines about the opinions of other websites about yours. When a website gives you a backlink, it signifies they believe your material is important to their viewers.
That seems like a wonderful incentive to establish a backlink network, doesn’t it?
Linking may be an important component of your content strategy – and a terrific technique to increase SEO traffic to your site if done properly.
A good backlink is one that originates from a site that has authority or reliability. The higher the authority or trustworthiness of that website, the better your backlink will be.
Earning connections from other websites in the same or comparable niches (e.g., through journalistic outreach) may assist raise awareness of your website and produce additional referral traffic.
Backlinks from unrelated sources, on the other hand, have the ability to hurt as well as benefit a website. A website may be penalized by search engines if it has too many connections from irrelevant sources, not enough links in general, and other factors.
To avoid Google’s wrath, only link out if you have something meaningful, relevant, and original to add to the discussion.
More information on off-page SEO optimization, including backlinks, may be found here.
What Is a Referring Domain and How Does It Work?
A referring domain is a website that identifies the source of referral traffic. You want other websites to connect to your material if you run a website.
Let’s imagine you have a blog where you produce marketing-related information. John Smith searches for’marketing advice’ and enters the phrase into Google. John comes across an article on “XYZ.com” that mentions your site as the finest blog to follow for marketing advice, so he clicks the link and is sent to your website. The referring domain is “XYZ.com.”
It’s beneficial to get backlinks from a diversity of referring websites. Why not just get connections from as many websites as possible? It’s not as straightforward as that.
Google looks at the quality of your connections and where they originate from, rather than simply the amount, according to SagaReach Marketing. A link from a low-quality website is not the same as a link from a reputable website.
What Qualifies a Referring Domain as Trustworthy?
A referring domain’s authority is determined by the topic/industry relevancy and the quality of their own backlink profile.
Concentrate on obtaining high-quality backlinks from sites that are related to or close to your sector. If you have a lot of referring domains from high-ranking sites, Google will most likely consider such links to be strong quality signals and promote your website.
How to Check Your Website’s Backlinks and Referring Domains
Now that you’ve learned the difference between backlinks and referring websites, it’s time to evaluate your own.
You could be asking yourself a few questions at this point:
- Which websites connect to you?
- From which pages are the backlinks coming?
- What kind of anchor text is utilized in the links?
- What are the most popular pages on your website?
Both Google Search Console and AHREFs are critical tools for determining which websites connect to you.
How To Find Backlinks & Referring Domains Using Google Search Console
The backlinks and referring domains report in Google Search Console will provide you a comprehensive picture of your backlinks and referring websites.
Google Search Console opens to an overview page when you create a free account and connect your website. The links report may be found by scrolling down the left sidebar.
When you access the links report, you’ll get six metrics about referring websites and backlinks.
- Total Number of External Links: Displays the total number of backlinks to your site from other websites.
- Top Linked Pages (External): Displays the pages on your website that have received the most links from other websites.
- Total Internal Links: Displays the total number of links on your website that go to other pages.
- Top Linked Pages (Internal): Displays the sites on your website that have the most links from other pages.
- Top Linking Sites: Displays the most popular referring domains for your website.
- Top Linking Text: Displays the anchor text used by other websites in backlinks to your site.
How To Find Backlinks & Referral Domains Using AHREFs
AHREFs are a valuable SEO tool to have in your toolbox. The tool enables you to verify the amount of backlinks and referring domains a site has on a particular and overall basis.
The following is a step-by-step guide to locating the report:
- Please sign in to your account.
- Enter any website URL into Site Explorer.
- On the side menu, choose Backlinks or Referring Domains.
- A new page will emerge, displaying all of your site results.
The steps are represented graphically as follows:
Here’s an example of a report on referring domains:
Summary of the Differences Between Backlinks and Referring Domains
Knowing the distinction between backlinks and referring domains is critical for ranking high on search engines like Google if website growth is the end aim.
Keep track of your referring websites and backlinks on a frequent basis. Both may be tracked using the free Google Search Console or the premium AHREFs.
It simply takes a few minutes, but it’s vital to your organic search performance.
Referring domains are websites that link back to your website. Backlinks are links from other websites on the internet. There is a difference between these two terms, and this article explains it. Reference: referring domains check.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between referring domains and inbound links?
A: Inbound links refer to when a website sends traffic or referrals from another site. Referring domains are sites that link back to your website, usually because they have the same target audience as yours and share similar content.
Are backlinks referrals?
A: No, backlinks are not referrals. A referral is when a website links to your site in order for you to gain traffic and target them with ads. Backlinks help improve the ranking of your website on search engines like Google & Bing by pointing out other websites that link to yours from their pages.
What is referring domains in Ahref?
A: Referring domains are the websites linking to your website. When you see a domain like
www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aexample%2Findex, its telling googlebot that site1 is pointing at index of example.com
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