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Study Shows Positive Correlation Between Traffic and Referring Domains

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Study Shows Positive Correlation Between Traffic and Referring Domains

A new study conducted by SimilarWeb and Majestic concludes that there is a positive correlation between a website’s traffic and the number of referring domains pointing to that website.

The study analyzed 500,000 backlinks from 100,000 of the top sites on the web to find a correlation from the tops sites and their associated backlinks. The traffic driven to these sites was broken down into the following categories:

  • Overall traffic
  • Organic search traffic
  • PPC traffic
  • Referrals traffic
  • Social Media traffic
  • IP Addresses

The websites assessed in the study were also broken down into similar categories, analyzing the top 100,000 websites in the world by:

  • Global Rank
  • Organic Traffic
  • PPC Traffic
  • Referral traffic
  • Social media traffic
  • The Findings

The data was broken down even further by grouping the correlation between traffic and backlinks by:

  • Referring domains
  • IP addresses
  • Referring .edu domains
  • External .gov domains
  • Referring .gov domains

After analyzing 500,000 backlinks from hundreds of thousands of the world’s top websites it was found that referring domains had the highest correlation between all traffic groups came through referring domains. Referring domains in general came out on top across the board, with external .gov and .edu backlinks showing a rather low correlation.

Roy Hinkis of SimilarWeb states:

“The overall impression I’m left with is that backlinks still have a very high correlation to the amount of website traffic. However, it would be detrimental to your SEO efforts to assume this is the only avenue for link-building. Instead, you need to adopt a more holistic approach which takes in the valuable assets of IP addresses and EDU/GOV websites to gain an overall larger share of traffic.”

What this goes to show is that it’s important to diversify your backlink profile with a variety of domains. According to the data, building an abundance of backlinks from the same sources is not as effective as focusing on the number of unique domains you’re getting the links from.

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Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in ... [Read full bio]

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