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Step 2.28: No. of backlinks & Referring Domains

Step 2.28: No. of Backlinks & Referring Domains

Basic Concepts | Off-Page SEO Components | Backlinks


Direct Ranking Factor: Very Strong

This is a simple concept and it refers to the size of your site’s link profile. Since the aim of link building is to grow your link profile there are some aspects to this that you should know.

Referring Domains

There are two ways in which we normally break down backlinks, and there is some colloquial terminology used when discussing these components.

You already know what a backlink is, but a ‘referring domain’, otherwise known as a ‘linking domain’, refers to the domain on which a backlink to your site exists. Often when we link to other sites, we don’t do it from our home page. So, the page might be:

Whereas the referring domain in this example would be:

No. of Backlinks & Referring Domains

Because a site (domain) might link to your site multiple times, we almost always see more backlinks than referring domains. It is, of course, impossible to have more referring domains than backlinks.

The value of additional links (after the first) from a single site to your site are diminished exponentially. Meaning that after the first few links from a domain, there is very little point in acquiring more.

Thus, the number of referring domains often lends itself to higher quality analysis or insights.

Backlinks to Referring Domains Ratio

This is a ratio, and can be expressed in a few ways, but is best explained in an example:

If we have 100 backlinks and they come 50 domains, we have a ratio of:

2:1 (2 backlinks per 1 referring domain)

Ideally, we want this number to be pretty close to 1:1 to maximise our SEO, time, and effort.

Knowing this puts both metrics into a wider context, something very important in any data analysis.


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