Backlinks Still Important in Website Traffic

03 June 2016

Backlinks Still Important in Website Traffic

A recent study, carried out by SimilarWeb and Majestic, has found that the number of referring domains is still important for a website’s traffic levels. The teams analysed half a million backlinks from 100,000 websites to establish whether or not there was a correlation between referring websites and traffic in January 2016. The websites studied were the top 100,000 in the world, according to referral, social and PPC traffic.

SimilarWeb and Majestic discovered that the highest correlation between all traffic groups occurred with referring domains, and it also demonstrated that a diverse range of backlink domains was more beneficial to a website than a number of backlinks from the same website.

What does this mean for website owners?

The data discovered by SimilarWeb and Majestic shows that link building still plays an important role in SEO and organic website traffic. And, while a lot of backlinks from a single website can help, getting a higher number of different websites to link to your site is better.

The links you seek to build should also be relevant to your industry or niche. Majestic describes this in terms of Trust Flow (a score Majestic gives to describe websites as trusted – with higher scores out of 100 – or less trusted, if they have questionable backlinks) and Topical Trust Flow (a way of measuring which industries or niches a website has influence in).

How to build backlinks from a range of referring domains

So, we know that you need a range of backlinks from relevant websites. How can you go about achieving this?

Link building has a bad name, thanks to old practices that have now been thoroughly debunked, but it can be carried out in a responsible way that Google does not object to.

It isn’t as quick or easy, perhaps, as five years ago, but it can still be done. Now, it is all about relationship building and brand building, as well as paid, owned and earned media coverage.

Earned media, in particular, is an effective and trusted way of building backlinks to a website by creating content or developing a product or service that is so exceptional that others want to talk about it. Create great PR around your brand and spread the word, while linking with influencers in your industry who may, in time, start to promote what you do as your relationship grows and improves.