Difference Between Referring Domains and Backlinks

Understanding The Difference Between Referring Domains and Backlinks. Many people are puzzled about the concepts of referring domains and backlinks. Are you one of those people?

Well, Backlinks and referring domains are similar, but not exactly the same.

For example, if a web page has a backlink from the New York Times, then it has one referring domain. If it has a link from the New York Times and Forbes, it has two referring domains. If it has two backlinks from the New York Times, then it still has one referring domain.

Difference Between Referring Domains and Backlinks
Difference Between Referring Domains and Backlinks

Let’s understand the difference.

  1. Referring Domain
  2. Backlinks
  3. Increase The Number Of Referring Domains
So, let us understand the Difference Between Referring Domains and Backlinks in simple words with an example.

  • Domain: A domain is an organization's unique descriptor listed within a URL. For example, in the URL “http://www.arpcloudstore.com,” arpcloudstore is the domain name.
  • Referring Domain: Also known as a ref domain, a referring domain is a domain that backlinks are coming from.
  • Backlinks: A backlink is a link on another website that points to your site.
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So a referring domain is where your backlinks are coming from, and backlinks are the links on the websites that link back to your site. Think of the referring domain as a phone number and backlinks as the number of times you've gotten a call from that particular number.

Referring Domain

The referring domain is the website that links to your website’s content through a backlink or hyperlink. The referring URL is the precise page on that site that is connected to your content. 

To give a signal to Google, you’ll need a lot of referring domains. Referring domains provide you with an advantage when it comes to optimizing your website. Referring to domains are extremely important to Google. So much so that there is a strategy that can help you succeed.

Referring domains are online traffic sources that are taken seriously by search engines like Google. They might symbolize your business connections or reflect the content of your website. To enhance your performance in the SERPs, you want to be linked to as many high-quality referring domains as possible.


A backlink is a hyperlink used by another website to point to the authoritative content on your website. A backlink provides search crawlers with link equity or a “vote of confidence.” This vote of confidence signifies that your content is credible enough to be cited and shared. 

All backlinks originate from a referring domain. Backlinks are just hyperlinks, and referring domains are the websites that create them. 

Backlinks are regarded as one of the top three most significant ranking factors. To establish the overall quality of a backlink, Google looks at a variety of factors. The quality of the referring domain from which the backlink originates is one of these criteria. 

Outbound links from high-quality, authoritative referring domains will pass on that authority. This is why getting backlinks from authoritative websites is essential.

Increase The Number Of Referring Domains

You want as many high-quality referring domains as possible, just like you want a lot of diverse backlinks. Acquiring 200 backlinks from twenty referring domains, for example, appears to be much better than getting 200 backlinks from two.

Although it’s good to be linked by the same website several times (in the form of several backlinks), the value of each backlink diminishes with each additional link from that site. In other words, in Google’s perspective, each subsequent backlink earned from the same referring domain will provide decreasing results.

Links from serial linkers are devalued by Google (for obvious reasons like spam). Getting hundreds or even thousands of backlinks from the same referring domain won’t help you much. You can have lots of backlinks, but if the majority of them are from low-quality websites, you will not perform as much as you expect.


Hope this blog has about the Difference Between Referring Domains and Backlinks and clarified the distinction between referring domains and backlinks. Relevance, link quantity, and contextual placement are all essential factors, which is why having a broad, diversified backlink profile is beneficial.

Backlinks from the finest referring domains should be the focus of your link-building efforts. Backlinks from the most reputable, high-traffic referring domains will be far more valuable than those from low-quality websites.

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