Understanding the Difference Between Referring Domains Vs Backlinks

Hey there! If you're venturing into the world of SEO, you've probably encountered the terms' referring domains' and 'backlinks.'

These might sound like technical jargon, but mastering them can empower you to enhance your website's performance, boost your search engine rankings, and drive more traffic.

So, let's demystify them in a simple, engaging way in this Referring domains vs Backlinks.

What Exactly are Backlinks?

definition of backlinks

Let's start with backlinks. Imagine you've just written an excellent blog post about the best coffee shops in town.

A few days later, a popular food blog links to your post, saying, "Check out this great guide on local coffee spots." That link they created? That's a backlink.

Backlinks are simply links from one website to another. They're like little endorsements or recommendations.

When other sites link to yours, search engines like Google signal that your content is valuable and trustworthy. And guess what? This can help boost your rankings in search results.

Different Types of Backlinks

Backlinks come in two flavours: do-follow and no-follow.

  1. Do-Follow Backlinks: These are the good ones. They pass on SEO value from the linking site to the linked site. It's like saying, "I vouch for this content."

2. No-Follow Backlinks: These don't pass on SEO value. they're used when a site doesn't want to endorse the linked content completely. It's like saying, "Here's a link, but I'm not backing it up."

What are Referring Domains?

Now, let's talk about referring domains. If backlinks are individual links, referring domains are the websites from which those links come. So, if five food blogs link to your coffee shop guide, you have five referring domains.

Even if one of those blogs links to your post multiple times (maybe from different articles), it still counts as one referring domain. The more unique referring domains you have, the better it looks to search engines.

Why Do They Matter?

You might think, "Okay, cool, but why should I care?" Here's why:

Authority and Trust

When many websites link to your content, a broad audience trusts and values your site. This boosts your site's authority in the eyes of search engines.

Improved Rankings:

A diverse range of high-quality backlinks from multiple referring domains can significantly improve your search engine rankings. It's like having lots of people vouching for you.

More Traffic:

Backlinks drive Traffic from other sites to yours. The more referring domains you have, the more potential sources of Traffic you're tapping into.

Quality vs. Quantity

In the world of SEO, it's crucial to remember that quality trumps quantity.

Having a few high-quality backlinks from reputable sites is far more valuable than hundreds from low-quality, spammy sites. Think of it as getting recommendations from respected experts versus random strangers.

How to Get More Backlinks and Referring Domains

opportunities for backlinks and referring domain

Here are some practical tips to help you build a strong backlink profile: Create High-Quality Content, Guest Blogging, Outreach, Social Media, and Monitor Your Backlinks.

These steps can significantly enhance your online presence and climb those search engine rankings.

Create High-Quality Content:

Great content attracts links. Focus on creating valuable, engaging, and shareable content people want to link to.

Guest Blogging:

Write guest posts for reputable sites in your industry. This gets you backlinks and exposes your content to a broader audience.


Contact bloggers and website owners in your niche. Share your content with them and explain why it's valuable. Personalised outreach can lead to backlinks from diverse domains.

Social Media

Promote your content on social media. The more visibility your content gets, the higher the chances other sites will link to it.

Monitor Your Backlinks

Use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz to track your backlinks. This helps you understand what's working and refine your strategy.

Wrapping It Up

Understanding the difference between referring domains and backlinks is vital to building an effective SEO strategy.

Backlinks are individual links from other sites while referring domains are the unique websites from which those links come.

Both play a crucial role in boosting your site's authority, improving search rankings, and driving Traffic.

So, the next time you're working on your SEO strategy, remember to focus on getting high-quality backlinks from a diverse range of referring domains.

It's a surefire way to enhance your online presence and climb those search engine rankings.

eddie from topnotch seo