Backlinks VS Referring domains: A Complete Comparison

backlinks vs referring domains

Backlink and referring domains seem to be the same thing but it is not like that. Whether you are a digital marketer or an SEO you need to know the core differences between backlinks and referring domains. Backlinks are the links that point toward your website. And a Referring Domain is the website that gives you a backlink.

For example, your website is, and a website that is called something like is giving you a backlink. Now, is one of your referring domains.

The main difference between backlinks and referring domains is that a referring domain can give you thousands of backlinks. Let’s have some files in a particular folder. Here the files are backlinks and the folders are the referring domains.

There’s a thing that you have to consider. That is Google only counts one link per referring domain. There are a lot of differences between backlinks and referring domains.

Understanding the difference between backlinks and referring domains will make your link-building strategy more powerful as well as effective. We will cover them in the following article.

What Is a Backlink?

A backlink is a link from one website to the target web page. It can be used to show your website's authority, which is important for SEO.

Backlinks are important because they help search engines understand the quality of your site by pointing out high-quality websites that link back to yours. It also helps them understand what kind of content you produce on your site, which helps them determine whether or not people would want it enough to click on it.

Backlinks are also known as inbound links and natural links (or backlinks). But not all the time. Because backlinks can also point to another site from your site. Those are called Outbound links.

Backlinks come in different forms and can be found on any type of site online but they're most commonly found on blogs and forums such as Reddit or Quora.

What Is a Referring Domain?

A referring domain, also called a linking domain, is a external website that gives you backlinks. A link from one of your websites to another is called a backlink. Google counts only one backlink per referring domain, so if you have several pages on your website linking to the same page, those links will count as one.

For example, if someone has a blog post about Bob's Burgers and you link to it from your main blog post about Burgers and Donuts - A Complete comparison, then Google will count that as one backlink to The Comparison of Burgers and Donuts—From your blog post to someone's blog post.

But remember to get links from high quality referring domains. But, what makes referring domain links more valuable and qualitative? A referring domain has a high domain authority, a lot of content and a lot of quality backlinks itself.

Also, referring domains should be niche relevant to your website. Building backlinks on niche-relevant websites or referring domains will help you to attract more target audiences and help you to grow your website.

Backlinks vs Referring Domains

We all know that, If you have a website and are trying to rank on the first or second page of Google, then it's important to know how to improve your rankings. The easiest way is by using backlinks from other websites that point to your site (that's called a backlink).

Now, the domain, the backlinks come from is called A Referring Domain. Referring domains are the ultimate game-changer, because if you have thousands of backlinks from a single referring domain then you can’t rank but if you have thousands of backlinks from thousands of referring domains then you can definitely rank.

The reason behind this is that Google only counts one link per referring domain rather than multiple backlinks from a single site. Google takes this rankings factor so seriously.

If you see anywhere that a site is having 10 unique referring domains, that means that it is having 10 websites that link to it. And if they have 10 backlinks then there is no guarantee that it has 10 unique numbers of referring domains.

Remember the more you have referring domains the more powerful your backlink profile will be.

How to find backlinks and Referring Domains?

There are different ways to find backlinks and referring domains. You can use a backlink checker or a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs and Semrush (both paid). If you want to know more about their features, read my post on How To Use Backlink Checkers For SEO.

Alternatively, you can use Google Search Console's Referring Domains report to get an overview of the sites that link directly to yours. This way you will be able to see which pages on other sites are linking directly back to yours!

Actually, the report of the Google search console is the list of backlinks that are indexed by Google.

How to create high-quality backlinks?

There are several ways you can create high-quality backlinks.

  • Social media: You should use social media to get more links. If you have a blog, make sure that every post has at least one link in it. If possible, add some text with the link so people can read it without clicking away from your site or looking at the back of their screen while they scroll down on their phones (which is what most people do).
  • Guest posts: Guest blogging is another great way to get quality links from other websites since most bloggers will give credit where credit is due - even if it's just for providing an opportunity for others to share their own content! You should also try to get backlinks from websites that are relevant to your niche. That way, you'll have a better chance of getting more traffic from search engines.
  • Blog Comments: When you leave a comment on another blog, the author is often given an option to add a link back to your site. This can be a great way to get quality backlinks fast and easily! But keep in mind that some bloggers don't allow comments from unregistered users or those who haven't gotten permission first. If you're not sure about this, it's best to contact them before posting anything on their blog.

You can also read my definitive guide on backlinks to know completely about some Link Building Techniques in SEO.

The bottom line is, that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for creating backlinks. The best way to do it is by using a combination of both strategies and tactics. We hope this article has helped you understand the differences between backlinks and referring domains so that you can choose which approach works best for your website.