The Difference Between Referring Domains vs Backlinks

Affiliate disclosure: In full transparency – some of the links on our website are affiliate links, if you use them to make a purchase we will earn a commission at no additional cost for you (none whatsoever!).

In this article, we have featured The Difference Between Referring Domains vs Backlinks. It’s no secret that SEO is a complex field. There are a lot of moving parts, and it can be tough to keep everything straight.

So today, we’re going to focus on two key concepts in SEO: referring domains and backlinks. We’ll talk about what each of them is, how they’re related, and how you can use them to improve your website’s search engine ranking. Let’s get started!

Referring Domains vs Backlinks: What’s the Difference?

A referring domain is a website that a backlink leads to. In other words, it’s the source of the backlink. A backlink, on the other hand, is a link from one site to another. Basically, when one website links to another website, that’s considered a backlink. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a closer look at each of these concepts.

Referring Domains


Referring domains are websites that link to your website. When someone clicks on one of those links, they’ll be brought to your site. The number of referring domains is an important metric because it shows how many websites are linking to yours. But it’s not just the quantity of referring domains that matters—it’s also the quality.

For example, let’s say you have two websites linking to yours. One is a well-established website with a lot of traffic, and the other is a new website with very little traffic.

In this case, the well-established website would be worth more in terms of SEO because its link carries more weight. That being said, even if you only have one or two high-quality referring domains, that’s still better than having dozens of low-quality ones. Quality over quantity!



A backlink is simply a link from one website to another—it doesn’t matter which direction the link goes in. So if Website A links to Website B, that counts as a backlink for Website B.

If Website B then links back to Website A, that would count as two backlinks for Website A: one from Website B and one from Website A (a self-linking). Backlinks are important because they help improve your website’s search engine ranking.

The more high-quality backlinks you have pointing to your website, the higher your site will rank in search results pages (SERPs).

That’s because Google sees those links as votes of confidence—the more votes (or backlinks) you have, the more credible your site must be. Additionally, backlinks help improve your click-through rate (CTR), which is another important ranking factor. So if you’re looking to improve your SEO but don’t know where to start, focus on building quality backlinks!

Referring Domains vs Backlinks: The Basics


A referring domain is an external website that links to your website. For example, if you have a blog post that’s been picked up by HuffPo, that would count as one referring domain.

A backlink, on the other hand, is an individual link from a referring domain. So, in the case of our HuffPo example, each individual link from the HuffPo article to your blog post would count as one backlink.

So, why are referring domains and backlinks important? Google views both of these things as signals of trustworthiness and authority.

The more high-quality websites that link to your site, the more likely it is that Google will view your site as being trustworthy and authoritative. As a result, you may see a boost in your search engine rankings.

How to Get More Referring Domains and Backlinks


There are a few different ways to get more referring domains and backlinks pointing to your website. One way is to create great content that other people will want to share.

This could include blog posts, infographics, videos, or anything else that’s interesting and shareworthy.

You can also reach out to other websites in your industry and ask if they’d be interested in linking to your content. Finally, you can submit your site to directories and industry-specific roundups.

Why Do They Matter?

Referring domains and backlinks are both important signals to search engines that your website is high-quality and trustworthy. After all, if other websites are willing to link to yours, that must mean that you have something valuable to offer.

In addition, the more high-quality referring domains and backlinks you have pointing to your website, the higher your ranking will be in SERPs—which ultimately leads to more traffic and conversions.

Also, Read:

Conclusion: Referring Domains vs Backlinks

Referring domains and backlinks are both important factors in SEO—but what’s the difference between them? A referring domain is a website that a particular backlink leads to while a backlink is simply a link from one site to another (regardless of which direction it goes in). Keep these definitions in mind as we continue our journey through the wonderful world of SEO!

Some Useful Videos

SEO for Beginners – What is Domain Authority?

How To: Ahrefs – Checking Referring Domains – Part One

How To Increase Domain Authority Quickly (7 Ways)

I built over 1,341 links using this method

What Are Backlinks and How Do They Work?


Jitendra Vaswani is the founder of SchemaNinja WordPress Plugin, prior to SchemaNinja he is the founder of many internet marketing blogs, and He is a successful online marketer & award-winning digital marketing consultant. He has been featured on HuffingtonPost, BusinessWorld, YourStory, Payoneer, Lifehacker & other leading publications as a successful blogger & digital marketer. Jitendra Vaswani is also a frequent speaker & having 8+ yrs experience of in the Digital Marketing field. Check out his portfolio( Find him on Twitter, & Facebook.