Referring Domains vs. Backlinks: Delving into the Variances

2 min read

While Backlinks and referring domains share similarities, they are different. Let’s dive into the details of referring domains vs backlinks.


What sets Referring Domains apart from Backlinks?



Referring domains and backlinks are intertwined yet distinct in the realm of SEO. Backlinks are individual links from one webpage to another, while referring domains represent the unique websites that these backlinks originate from. While backlinks measure the quantity of inbound links, referring domains signify the number of unique websites linking to a particular page. Understanding this difference is crucial: multiple backlinks from a single domain may not offer as much SEO impact as links from various referring domains, highlighting the significance of diversifying sources to enhance website authority and rankings.




A backlink is a hyperlink that starts on one website and leads to another. It’s entirely possible to have multiple backlinks originating from just one website or even a single web page.


Referring Domains


A referring domain represents a website containing one or more backlinks leading to a particular target website or web page. For instance, if a web page has a backlink from the New York Times, it’s tied to one referring domain. Contrastingly, if it acquires links from both the New York Times and Forbes, it’s linked to two referring domains. Nevertheless, even with two backlinks from the New York Times, it’s counted as having just one referring domain.


To examine backlinks and referring domains, follow these steps


  1. Open Ahrefs Site Explorer.
  2. Insert the URL of the desired website, web page, or subfolder into the designated field.
  3. Head to the Referring domains report in Ahrefs Site Explorer.
  4. Explore the report to access a detailed list of referring domains linked to the specified URL.

By following these steps, you can effectively review the backlinks and referring domains for any website or web page.


The Influence of referring domains and Backlinks on SEO 


The Influence of referring domains and backlinks on your SEO and organic traffic is significant. They are vital in boosting your website’s visibility and attracting more organic visitors. So, lets see which one is best backlinks vs referring domains.

Referring domains play a crucial role in your SEO strategy by serving as endorsements or commendations from respected websites. When esteemed websites link to your content, search engines interpret it as a vote of confidence, signaling your site’s value and reliability. Consequently, this bolsters your website’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines, ultimately enhancing search rankings.

On the other hand, backlinks act as pathways for organic traffic to discover your website. Clicking on backlinks from other sites directs users to your pages, heightening the prospect of generating valuable organic traffic. The relevance and authority of the backlink’s origin strongly influence the potential for attracting targeted visitors to your website.

We recommend exploring our monthly SEO packs for clarification or to help manage backlinks and referring domains. Our team of industry experts can handle these aspects for you, ensuring that your website receives the necessary attention and optimization it deserves. So let us take care of your SEO needs while you focus on other essential aspects of your business.

Shilpi Mathur
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