Referring website

What can you do with a referring website and what does it really mean? You can read about that below. A referring Web site is a referring URL. That is, the website from where a visitor arrived at your website. Where someone clicked on a link that led to your site.

What is a referring website?

A referring website is a website where the link can be found to your website. You may not even be aware of that referring Web site. A referring website is also called a traffic source. Google Analytics helps you understand referring websites.(1)

Understanding referring websites

For example, a referring website could be Facebook or Instagram. Not only social media pages can be referring websites. Other options include Marketplace. With Google Analytics, you obtain a traffic source report. In this you can see where your website visitors are coming from in terms of referring websites. This report shows what visitors visited your site and through which referring websites they came. You can also see the number of visitors per referring website. Visits through referring websites are also still rated for quality. The quality of referring Web sites is measured by visitor activity.

Impact of referring websites on SEO

A referring Web site can have an impact on SEO. Originally, the sites with the most links were the highest result in Google. Nowadays, many more aspects play a role. Links are also monitored. For example, you can’t throw a website full of links and expect it to increase your position in search results. Reliable and high-quality referring websites do have a positive effect on your SEO. (2)

My advice

We therefore recommend checking your referring websites. It gives you insight into how people land on your website or page. You can also see which referrals are not of good quality or generate little traffic. If so, one option is to correct it or undo the referrals.


  1. Polacek, D. (2023, May 24). Referring domains: Are they more important than backlinks? | Mangools. Mangools.,exposure%20to%20your%20site’s%20brand.
  2. What’s the Difference Between Referring Domains and Backlinks? | Help Center – Ahrefs. (s.d.).
Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 19 April 2024. The last update of this article was on 19 April 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.