This difference in their respective definitions is more pronouncedly expressed in the function performed by each. Backlinks are used to improve the crawl frequency of a given website, while the function of a referring domain is to drive referral traffic to the website or web page.
Backlinks vs Referring Domains
The main difference between backlinks and referring domains is that backlinks are hyperlinks that guide the user back to the original website while referring domains are websites and web pages that generate these hyperlinks.
Backlinks are always products of referring domains. Any domain that generates a backlink or sends referral traffic to a given site is classed as a referring domain.
Comparison Table Between Backlinks and Referring Domains
|Parameters of Comparison||Backlinks||Referring Domains|
|Definition||Backlinks are hyperlinks that lead the reader back to the original website or web page.||Referring domains are the websites or web pages that generate backlinks.|
|Alternative Terms of Reference||Backlinks are also called inbound links and one-way links.||Referring domains are also called linking domains.|
|Relationship||Backlinks are products of referring domains.||Referring domains produce backlinks.|
|Role in SEO Traffic Prioritization||SEO and prioritization of a site are both hampered if it has backlinks from only a few referring domains.||SEO value is amplified if a variety of referring domains are used.|
|Function||Backlinks tend to improve the crawl frequency of a website.||Referring domains operate to drive referral traffic to websites.|
|Implication||Google may take steps to penalize a page if it has too many backlinks from the same referring domain.||No such step is taken if a website or web page has multiple referring domain links.|
|Exclusivity||All backlinks are generated from referring domains.||All referring domains may not produce the same backlink to a website.|
|Tracking Process||Backlinks can be tracked using Google Webmaster tools.||Referring domains can be tracked under the Analytics Referrals section.|
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are essentially links for one website or web page visible on another website. They are also known as inbound links or one-way links. As a hyperlink, its function is to redirect the user to the original website.
Backlinks are important to boost SEO values of websites. They act as votes that attest to the value and credibility of the website’s content. In other words, backlinks are essentially ranking signals for Google.
Backlinks can be embedded in the images or texts on the website. Their value is ascertained on the basis of the link location, site diversity, etc.
Backlinks add value to a website’s search engine ranking only when they are from various unique referring domains that are in turn trusted and reliable. If a web page has too many backlinks from a limited number of referring domains, the rank evaluation of the site drops drastically.
What are Referring Domains?
Referring domains are external websites that create links to direct traffic to other websites. They are also known as linking domains. Referring domains drive referral traffic by creating backlinks. The function of such domains is to drive SEO traffic to specific websites through multiple backlinks.
Referring domains are known as backlink generators. Through backlinks, a user is redirected to a specific web page. A single referring domain may create many backlinks to one website. Referring domains are important because they are used to connote the credibility of content on a web page.
The more number of referring domain links available on a web page, the more reliable is the content. To attain the ace position within the arena of organic traffic generation, one needs to have backlinks from the most trusted referring domains.
Main Differences Between Backlinks and Referring Domains
- The main difference between backlinks and referring domains is that the former connotes the hyperlinks that lead the reader back to a particular website, while the latter refers to the website or web page that produces the backlinks.
- Backlinks and referring domains also differ in terms of the function each performs. While backlinks are created to improve the crawl frequency of a website, referring domains operate to drive referral traffic to websites.
- Backlinks are called inbound links or one-way links while referring domains are also called linking domains.
- Another difference between the two can be ascertained when the relationship between the two is assessed. Only referring domains can produce backlinks. Hence, they are the originators of backlinks. Similarly, backlinks are always the product of referring domains.
- Backlinks can be tracked through the Google Webmaster tool while referring domains can be tracked through Google Analytics. Referral domain numbers are specified under the referrals section of the Analytics tool.
- Another difference can be noted in terms of exclusivity. All backlinks are generated from referring domains, while all referring domains might not produce the same backlink to the website.
- Referring domain links from a variety of websites help augment the priority of a website within a given search engine’s algorithm. However, too many backlinks from one website can be a negative SEO practice.
Both backlinks and referring domains are important SEO terms that need to be thoroughly cognized to acknowledge their significance in driving SEO traffic to one’s web page. Novice users often tend to use the two terms synonymously, thereby, negating their minuscule differences.
Referring domains are websites or web pages that produce backlinks. On the other hand, backlinks are links that take the user back to the original web page. Multiple backlinks are generated by referring domains.
The two have significantly different functions and implications when it comes to analyzing their significance in the domain of SEO and website prioritization.
Google verifies the authenticity of a web page on the number of unique referral domain links it has. The more unique referring domain links a page has, the better its SEO value.
Conversely, if a web page has multiple backlinks but from only one or two unique referring domains, its Google ranking is affected. Such practices can upset SEO value of web pages.
Referral domains and backlinks are hence quite different, although upon first glance they may seem overwhelmingly similar.
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