Getting into the world of the internet requires a certain amount of time and devotion. It is not a quick process, and definitely not something you can understand overnight. There is a whole bunch of terms you need to learn, skills you need to acquire. And, sometimes, those things have so much in common, you should spend hours reading different sources in order to get the difference. One such topic is the distinction between referring domains and backlinks. In this article, our experts from Link Department will define these terms and try to answer the ‘difference’ question. Hopefully, it will help you out.
What are backlinks?
Simply speaking, a backlink is a link visible on one website that points to another website or web page. Backlinks can be found in various texts or images that are present on the website. Their primary function is, being hyperlinks, to lead the user towards the original website. Backlinks take part in defining how prominent certain websites will be among the results that appear in search engines. In a certain way, backlinks affect the website’s Google rank, and thus they are important in the process of listing results. They also play a significant role in improving the credibility and value of a website and its content. However, this depends highly upon their quality.
What are referring domains?
A referring domain is an external website that has backlinks pointing to another website or web page. Thus, we can say that referring domains are generating backlinks, by which they redirect users to a certain web page. One referring domain can either create only one backlink to a website, or it can create many of them. Referring domains also have a strong impact in marking the credibility of a webpage’s content, and thus are as important as backlinks.
It is important to know the difference between backlinks and referring domains
Backlinks are seen as one-way links while referring domains can be regarded as websites or web pages that produce these links. However, if you want to create a strong backlink profile for your website, it is important to understand the effective ratio of referring domains to backlinks. Having a great number of backlinks pointing to your site is important, but you need to pay attention to the number of referring domains as well.
Just for example, if you have twenty backlinks generated on twenty different domains your backlink profile will be regarded as more reliable and trustworthy. On the contrary, a website having six hundred backlinks generated on only six domains has a very weak backlink profile. Therefore, when you make a strategy for gathering new links, keep in mind you should use as many referring domains as possible. Building links on websites that already point to your site, is not very effective.
Beware of the paid blog networks
Search engines such as Google, increasingly search for quality. When you want to have a healthy and strong backlink profile, it’s not all about reaching high numbers. That refers to the question of backlinks and referring domains as well.
Namely, Google tends to punish all the pages that have plenty of backlinks that are coming from only a few referring domains. Therefore, it’s highly important to take good care of that. Truth to speak, it is not easy to monitor the whole situation when the number of new backlinks starts to grow. However, if you use Google Webmaster tools, now known as Google Search Console, it won’t be so difficult to track the backlinks and control them.
The penalties for the high number of backlinks and the low number of domains come for a reason. This state of affairs usually has something to do with a paid linking scheme and paid blog networks. Creating natural backlinks, on the other hand, takes time, but it’s worth every single atom of your energy. This is because Google appreciates them, and that will consequently affect your ranking.
So, try to remember
- Backlinks and referring domains differ in terms of their function. Backlinks are there to upgrade the crawl frequency of a given website. On the other hand, referring domains serve to drive referral traffic to websites.
- There is a positive correlation between the average number of referring domains and organic search traffic. The more backlinks from unique domains, the more traffic your webpage receives
- Your online visibility widely depends on the quality of the backlinks you build
- Only if your backlinks come from various unique referring domains, they will have a positive impact on your search engine ranking
- Too many backlinks generated on a limited number of referring domains have a negative impact on your SEO and your ranking
- The SEO value increases and the content of your webpage becomes more reliable, as the number and the variety of referring domains increase
- It is important to have backlinks generated on the trustworthy referring domains
As you can see, the difference exists
As you can see, although backlinks and referring domains are associated with one another, there is still a huge difference between them. It is not a rare case, especially with some brand new users, to mix them up, and thus use them synonymously. In most cases, the website owners just tend to reach as many backlinks as they can. Meanwhile, they completely disregard the number of referring domains. And that’s all only because they can’t see the difference between backlinks and domains at the first glance. However, soon after they start getting negative results of their backlink profile, they will understand that there is something wrong.
But, we see no reason to learn that the hard way. If you take a look at our instructions for understanding the difference between referring domains and backlinks, you can make it the right way, and from the very start. So don’t waste your time, and play it smart.