Local SEO Specialist in Cebu Philippines

Backlinks vs. Referring Domains


SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a way to make your website show up higher in search engine results like on Google. It’s important because it helps more people find your website. 

In this article, we’ll talk about two important parts of SEO: backlinks and referring domains. We’ll explain what they are and how they’re different. This will help you understand how to use them to make your website more popular.

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks are like digital thumbs-up from other websites. When another website links to your website, that’s a backlink. They are important for SEO because search engines see them as a sign that your website has good content worth showing to more people.

Good backlinks come from websites that are respected and have something in common with your website. For example, if you have a cooking website, a backlink from a popular food blog is a good backlink. Bad backlinks come from websites that are not relevant to your site or are known for bad content. 

For example, a cooking website getting a backlink from a car repair site might not be seen as relevant.

What are Referring Domains?

Referring domains are the websites where your backlinks come from. Each website that links to you is a referring domain. They are different from backlinks because one website (a referring domain) can give you many backlinks.

Having a lot of backlinks from one referring domain is good, but it’s even better to have backlinks from many different referring domains. This shows search engines that a variety of websites think your content is valuable. 

The diversity of referring domains is really important. It’s like having a variety of friends vouch for you. When lots of different websites link to your site, it tells search engines, like Google, that many different people think your website is useful or interesting. 

This can help your website rank higher in search results, making it easier for people to find you. So, the more varied your referring domains are, the better it is for your website’s popularity.

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The Relationship Between Backlinks and Referring Domains

Backlinks and referring domains are closely linked, but they play different roles in SEO. Think of backlinks as the individual votes of confidence from other websites, while referring domains are the sources of these votes.

It’s like having a lot of friends (backlinks) who come from different families (referring domains). If many friends from different families say you’re great, it has a stronger impact than if many friends from just one family say the same thing. This is how backlinks and referring domains are connected.

The balance between the number (quantity) and the quality of both backlinks and referring domains is important. Having a lot of backlinks is good, but it’s even better if those backlinks come from a variety of high-quality, reputable websites. 

The same goes for referring domains. It’s better to have links from a range of trustworthy and relevant websites than many links from a few not-so-great sources.

Search engines like Google pay attention to this relationship. They don’t just count how many backlinks you have; they also look at where these links are coming from. If your backlinks are from diverse and respected sources, Google sees your website as more valuable and is more likely to rank it higher in search results. 

This means more people are likely to find and visit your site. So, focusing on both the quantity and quality of your backlinks and referring domains can really help your website’s visibility online.

Improving Your Website's SEO with Backlinks and Referring Domains

Improving your website’s SEO with good backlinks and a variety of referring domains is like building a strong network of supporters for your site. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Tips for Gaining High-Quality Backlinks:
    • The best way to get good backlinks is by having content that others want to share. Make sure your content is helpful, interesting, or entertaining.
    • Write articles for other websites in your field. This not only shows your expertise but also gets your site noticed and linked.
    • Contact websites that are relevant to your content and suggest they link to your site. Be polite and show them how linking to you can be beneficial for their audience.
    • Share your content on social media. This can attract attention and encourage others to link to your site.
  2. Strategies for Increasing the Number of Referring Domains:
    • Use different types of content like videos, infographics, and blogs. Different types attract different websites.
    • Build a relationship with other website owners and bloggers in your niche. The stronger your relationship, the more likely they are to link to your site.
    • Be active in forums, social media groups, or comment sections related to your niche. This can get your site noticed by a variety of people who might link back to it.
  3. Tools and Techniques for Tracking Backlinks and Referring Domains:
    • Use tools like Google Analytics, Ahrefs, or Moz. These can show you where your backlinks are coming from and the quality of these referring domains.
    • Regularly check your backlinks. This helps you see if your strategies are working and if the quality of your backlinks is improving.
    • Look at where your competitors are getting their backlinks. This can give you ideas for your own strategy.

By following these tips and strategies, you can improve your website’s SEO effectively. Remember, it’s not just about getting more backlinks, but about getting the right kind of backlinks from a variety of respected sources.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When working on improving your website’s SEO through backlinks and referring domains, it’s easy to make some mistakes. Here are some common ones to avoid:

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  1. Buying Backlinks:
    • Some website owners try to take a shortcut by buying backlinks. This is a big no-no in SEO. Search engines like Google can often tell when backlinks aren’t genuine and may penalize your site, making it rank lower in search results.
  2. Focusing Only on Quantity:
    • Having lots of backlinks might seem good, but if they’re not from quality sources, they won’t help much. It’s better to have fewer backlinks from reputable, relevant sites than many from low-quality sources.
  3. Ignoring the Relevance of Referring Domains:
    • If the websites linking to you have nothing to do with your content, it doesn’t help your SEO. For example, if you have a cooking blog, backlinks from car repair sites might not be seen as relevant by search engines.
  4. Using the Same Anchor Text Repeatedly:
    • Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. Using the same anchor text over and over can look spammy to search engines. It’s better to mix it up and keep it natural.
  5. Neglecting the Removal of Bad Backlinks:
    • Sometimes, you might get backlinks from spammy or irrelevant sites. It’s important to regularly check your backlinks and try to remove or disavow the bad ones.
  6. Not Monitoring Your Backlink Profile:
    • Not keeping an eye on your backlinks and referring domains can lead to missed opportunities or unnoticed problems. Regular monitoring helps you stay on top.

Avoiding these mistakes is crucial because they can harm your website’s reputation with search engines, leading to lower rankings.

Remember, in SEO, the quality of your backlinks and referring domains often matters more than quantity. Keeping your backlink profile clean and relevant is key to successful SEO.


To wrap up, backlinks and referring domains are both crucial for your website’s SEO. Backlinks are the links from other sites to yours, acting like votes of confidence. Referring domains are the websites these backlinks come from.

While backlinks are about how many times your site is recommended, referring domains focus on who is doing the recommending.

It’s important to focus on getting quality backlinks from a variety of trustworthy and relevant referring domains.

This not only improves your website’s credibility in the eyes of search engines like Google but also helps in ranking your site higher in search results. The goal is to build a strong, diverse network of backlinks and referring domains.

Final Thoughts

If you’re working on improving your website’s SEO, remember that patience and consistency are key. SEO is not a one-time task, but an ongoing process. Always aim for quality in your backlinks and diversity in your referring domains. Don’t be tempted by shortcuts like buying backlinks, as these can do more harm than good.

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