Multiple Backlinks, Same Domain: Is it Beneficial For SEO?

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Are multiple backlinks from the same website beneficial for SEO?

It’s a common misconception in SEO that multiple backlinks from the same domain aren’t valuable, or could potentially harm SEO efforts.

However, there’s a few reasons we believe that multiple backlinks from the same domain are a good thing for a website.

Here’s a few reasons why multiple backlinks from the same domain is beneficial for SEO:

  • It’s the Natural Linking Structure of the Web
  • Number of Backlinks Correlate Highly With Ranking
  • Supported By Google Surfer Patents

Let’s take a closer look at why multiple backlinks from the same domain are beneficial for SEO.

Natural Linking Structure of the Web

Google takes link schemes seriously. According to Google, any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

With that said, if you are looking to engage in an SEO campaign, you want to make sure that backlinks to your website are natural. You’ll want to avoid tactics like buying links, excessive link exchanges, or large-scale article marketing with keyword-rich anchor text links because they would be considered a link scheme.

What does link schemes have to do with multiple backlinks from the same domain?

Well, according to Ahrefs, 79% of websites that link to another website link twice or more to the same site. About 21% of sites link only once.

In other words, it’s more natural for a site to link multiple times than to build a backlink profile of single linking sites.

web linking structure
Web of connected nodes (pages)

Based on the link structure of the Web, it’s perfectly okay to have a website link to another site multiple times. If the majority of referring domains are linked only once to another site, it may be concerning because it goes against the trends of how sites naturally link to each other.

Number of Backlinks Correlate Highly With Ranking

Google was founded as a hypertextual search engine at Stanford University. The core difference between Google and other search engines was based on a concept called PageRank.

PageRank makes use of the link structure of the Web to calculate a quality ranking for each web page. In other words, Google initially mapped the link structures of 518 million hyperlinks to instantly prioritize the results of web keyword searches.

But that was 1996. Today, Google has mapped trillions of hyperlinks and indexes billions more each day to help serve up the results for our search queries.

What does this have to do with multiple links from the same domain?

The simple argument is that backlinks – especially from relevant and authoritative referring domains – help increase the authority of a website. In fact, Ahrefs, an SEO tool that crawls the web more often than Bing, found in a study that the number of backlinks is the second highest correlation of ranking than any backlink metric.

The top correlating metric? URL Rating (UR) of a website, which is a metric Ahrefs created to replace PageRank since Google made the metric private in early 2016.

how rankings correlate with backlink metrics

The number of backlinks matter. Whether they are from the same domain or not, quality backlinks from relevant and authoritative sources can help websites improve their rankings.

Google’s Two Surfer Patents Value Links

Google has two patents that describe the value they place on links when they appear on the same page.

These two patents capture two surfing models called the Random Surfer and the Reasonable Surfer.

Let’s take a quick look at both to better understand how multiple backlinks from the same domain is beneficial for SEO.

Random Surfer Model

The random surfer model assumes that if a web crawler were released at random, how likely would the crawler find a particular web page?

To learn more about the random surfer model, let’s take a look at this excerpt from the The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine we referenced earlier:

“PageRank is a model of user behavior. We assume a “random surfer” chooses a web page at random and keeps clicking on links, never hitting “back,” but eventually gets bored and starts on another random page. The probability that the random surfer visits a page is its PageRank.”

The random surfer approach basically says that any link on the same webpage has the same level of importance when pointed to another page.

But, random surfer was around in 1996. In 2004, Google filed a patent with an update on how they would rank documents based on user behavior and/or feature data. In 2010, this patent was granted and introduced the Reasonable Surfer model.

Reasonable Surfer Model

The reasonable surfer model basically says that all links are not equal, and to determine the value of each link on a page, a number of factors should be considered.

Here’s an excerpt from the reasonable surfer patent that Google was granted in 2010:

“Systems and methods consistent with the principles of the invention may provide a reasonable surfer model that indicates that when a surfer accesses a document with a set of links, the surfer will follow some of the links with higher probability than others. This reasonable surfer model reflects that not all the links associated with a document are equally likely to connect. Examples of unlikely followed links may include “Terms of Service” links, banner advertisements, and links unrelated to the document.”

In the context of SEO and link-building, the reasonable surfer model means that not every link on a page is valued equally. The calculation of how much value links pass to other sites they connect with varies depending on various attributes associated with links, as well as the pages they link to and lead to.

For example, a reasonable surfer may visit a web page with traffic and follow links from that page with a higher value than links from a web page without traffic. Following this thinking, it may be more valuable to have multiple links on a site that receives 10x the organic search traffic than links on a site receiving 0.1x organic traffic.

reasonable surfer

There have been updates to the reasonable surfer model since the initial patent, and there have been several studies analyzing the impact of links with traffic. But whether you subscribe to the reasonable surfer or random surfer model, you’ll know by the model that links from the same referring domain is a good thing for SEO.

Multiple Backlinks From The Same Domain Are Valuable For SEO

Is it beneficial to have multiple links from the same site?

Yes, since the number of backlinks correlate highly with ranking, Google validates link value through the reasonable and random surfer models, and because it’s more natural, multiple backlinks from the same website are valuable for SEO.

Hopefully this article has given you a few reasons why we believe multiple links from the same domain have value in SEO. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us and we will set up a free initial 15-minute consultation to evaluate your backlinks and SEO performance.

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