Referring Domains vs Backlinks: What’s the Difference?

Numbers of websites that exist today, exceeding 1.9 billion, one question that arises is how can one’s website achieve prime real estate on the first page of Google’s search results? While there are various measures one can take to optimize their website’s content, such as ensuring quality and appropriate keyword density, website speed, and on-page optimization, among others, a key aspect to achieving optimal SEO and ranking on Google is the augmentation of high-quality backlinks and referral domains.

So what exactly backlinks and referral domains are? 
How do they differ from one another? 
This article aims to expound on the dissimilarities between backlinks and referral domains, clarify their respective impact on SEO, and provide guidance on how one can increase both metrics.

What are Backlinks and Referring domains?

Backlinks are the quintessential facet of SEO. They have a substantial impact on a website’s search engine ranking, and their quality and quantity are critical. In essence, backlinks are hyperlinks created on one website (referring domain) that redirect to another website, i.e., your website. The inbound links or incoming links are known as Backlinks. 

They primarily serve as a reference point that shows a website’s credibility and relevance to search engines. Backlinks from authoritative websites or credible sources signify to Google that your website is valuable and trustworthy. A higher quantity of backlinks leads to a higher search engine ranking. This phenomenon is due to Google’s understanding that your website is popular and authoritative if credible and established websites are linking to it.

Why are backlinks important in SEO?

Backlinks can be likened to feedback. They convey to search engines what other web pages think of your page. However, it’s not about the quantity of backlinks. Currently, Google prioritizes the quality of backlinks over their quantity, so quality is the only significant metric. Backlinks from reputable and authoritative websites are more valuable. It suggests that the referring domain views your content as high-quality and valuable to its audience.

Imagine that John, a marketing strategist, is scouring Google search for the best marketing blogs. During his search, John stumbles upon a website called that features an article on the best marketing blogs, which mentions the Vispan Solutions website. John clicks the link to the Vispan Solutions website in the article on Here, John represents referral traffic, the link to Vispan Solutions website is the backlink, and is the referring domain.

In simple terms, when you click on a link to a website from another site, it’s considered a backlink. If anybody links to your website, you have a backlink from them, and vise – versa. If you link to a website, that website obtains a backlink from you. The number and quality of backlinks are among the key factors for achieving a high ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

What is the referring domain ?

In SEO, referring domains or linking domains indicate the number of unique websites, at least one website, that links to your website. Referring domains, in other words, are websites that connect to your site, rather than websites that you connect to.

Always keep in mind that “having a large number of backlinks from a single domain will not have the same impact on your ranking as having backlinks from multiple domains,” and this is because the more referring domains your website has, the higher it will rank on Google.

To illustrate the concept of referring domains, consider this example: A website with a backlink from the Wall Street Journal has one referring domain. If the website has a link from both the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, it has two referring domains. However, if a website has two backlinks from the Wall Street Journal, it is still considered to have only one referring domain.

It is worth noting that some websites link back to your page solely for the purpose of providing references in their content. In such cases, if six distinct websites link back to your page, this is considered six different referring domains. It is not possible to control the number of backlinks per referring domain.

Consider another example: External website (Site A) is classified as a referring domain if one or two backlinks refer to your website (Site B). Even if Site A provides several backlinks to Site B, it is still considered as one referring domain for Site B. A referring domain can be a valuable source of links and authority for your website. This is important because Google views referring domains as a signal of trust and authority. The more referring domains you have, the higher your website will rank in Google’s search results.

Backlink and referring domains have a significant impact on a website’s SEO. When Google ranks a website, it scrutinizes both of these factors. Backlink from highly-rated referring domains are crucial for boosting organic traffic. If a web page has no referring domains, it is improbable that it will receive organic search traffic from Google.

As a matter of fact, a study reveals that approximately 90.63% of web pages without any referring domains do not receive organic search traffic from Google. It is essential to have high-quality referring domains linking to your target web pages in order to avoid the risk of losing potential traffic, engagement, and sales.

Factors to create good backlinks

When evaluating the worth of a backlink, there are multiple considerations to keep in mind. One must take into account the caliber of the website, The website should be reputable and contain top-notch content. Additionally, the relevance of the site to which you are linking is important, and it should align with your own website and niche market. 

Finally, the website you choose to link to should possess substantial domain authority. By selecting a website that meets all three of these prerequisites, you can rest assured that you have secured a backlink of high quality.

Ways to get free backlinks to your website

Inquiring about how to procure backlinks to your website without spending any money? A backlink is established when someone clicks on a hyperlink on a webpage that leads to your website. If your website has backlinks from reputable websites, it will rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). To acquire additional backlinks, you can approach websites that are in your niche and solicit them to add a link to your website in one of their blog posts or articles.

Alternatively, you could promote your content on social media, compose a guest blog post or generate infographics.

Creating relevant content should be a top priority

One of the most effective ways to obtain first-rate backlinks for free is to place a significant emphasis on generating relevant content. If you create content that captures the attention and interest of your target audience, there’s a probability that other websites will link to it. You could also approach websites that you believe would be interested in linking to your content and request a backlink. Website owners are generally happy to share links if the content is valuable and relevant.

Use social media to market your content, Broadcasting links on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other comparable sites will enable you to reach a broader audience and attract superior backlinks.

Create infographics

To apply your newfound knowledge on obtaining free backlink, it’s time to execute your expertise and create infographics. These visual representations are an effective approach to garner high-quality backlink and disseminate information in a visually captivating way.

For commencing the creation of an infographic, first, select a subject that stimulates your interest and harbors a plethora of data. Once you’ve chosen a topic, curate trustworthy statistics and data from credible sources and produce a blueprint for your infographic. Upon finishing the creative process, distribute your infographic to platforms such as and Infographic Journal, or share it on your website or blog. You’ll be astounded by the number of individuals who will desire to share your infographic with their audience.

Guest posts on high-quality sites

To obtain high-quality backlinks without cost, one effective technique is to compose guest posts on high-grade websites. By incorporating a link to your website in your author bio, you can enhance your website traffic and optimize your SEO. It is crucial to identify top-notch websites related to your niche to reap the benefits of guest posting. These websites are more likely to publish your content and supply you with a backlink.

So, how can one locate such high-caliber websites? A useful approach is to leverage tools such as Ahrefs or Google Sheets to uncover websites with a high Domain Authority (DA). DA is a metric that gauges a website’s ability to rank on search engines, and websites with a lofty DA are more likely to provide you with a first-rate backlink.

How to check backlinks?

There are various tools available for checking backlinks. Google Search Console, Ahrefs, and Majestic are three of the most important tools for tracking backlinks and referring domains.

Google Search Console: This is a free tool provided by Google that gives you information about your website’s search traffic and performance and you can find data on your website’s backlinks and referring domains including the number of links and referring domains, anchor text, and destination pages.

Ahref: Ahrefs is a paid tool that provides comprehensive data on backlinks, referring domains, and other SEO metrics. It can give you information on the number of backlinks, referring domains, and the domain authority of your website, as well as your competitors’ websites.

Majestic: Majestic is another paid tool that provides information on backlinks and referring domains. It has a large database of backlinks, and can provide information on the number of links, referring domains, and anchor text.

To use these tools, simply enter your website’s URL and the tool will provide you with information on your backlinks and referring domains. This will help you to develop a backlink strategy and improve your website’s SEO performance.


The number and quality of backlink that a website has are important ranking factors for Google. If you aim to grow your website and improve your search engine ranking, it is crucial to distinguish between backlink and linking domains.

While it may take time and patience, prioritizing quality over quantity when building your network can positively impact your page rank. To focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites if you want to enhance your SEO and rankings Vispan Solutions is always there with best backlinks and Local SEO strategy.