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What’s the difference between referring pages and backlinks?

Essentially, a referring page is a URL that’s linking to another website, while a backlink is a single hyperlink to a different site placed on the referring page. In other words, if one URL links to the same website twice, the count of referring pages for that website will be one and the count of backlinks will be two.

Note that there are multiple opinions on the value of multiple links from the same page. Generally, it is believed that if you have several backlinks from the same page, only the first one passes link equity to the referenced page. At the same time, if you get multiple backlinks from the same domain, the value of each subsequent link is considered to be lower than that of the first link.

However, since Google retired public PageRank scores in 2016, it’s impossible to know for sure how they treat such links in terms of authority distribution. What is known though – multiple backlinks from the same page can still benefit the referenced site by sending referral traffic to it. More relevant traffic going to the target domain indirectly signals to the search engines that the website is popular and probably has good content worth ranking higher.

Why do I get fewer backlinks in the Backlinks endpoint than in the counters of other endpoints?

The Backlinks endpoint provides a list of unique backlinks from the referring pages. If a page contains more than 1 backlink pointing to your target, the link with the highest rank will be returned. The total number of backlinks pointing to the target from the referring page will be indicated in the links_count field.

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