What Is Domain Popularity?

Reputation Defender
3 min readApr 6, 2021


The domain popularity is a KPI for SEOs that indicates how strongly a website is linked. For the evaluation, the domain diversity of the backlinks is taken into account. This distinguishes the domain popularity from the so-called link popularity, which only measures the number of incoming links. For this reason, domain popularity is more of a qualitative KPI than a quantitative one. However, the domain popularity says nothing about the quality of the link-giving page.

How is domain popularity measured?

When two websites are compared, domain popularity plays an important role as a metric. But what does it mean if x has a domain popularity of 10, whilst y has a value of 20? It means that a domain popularity of 20 has received backlinks from 20 different websites.

As already mentioned, this metric does not count all incoming links, but only the linking domains. It doesn’t matter if there is a page-wide blogroll link or a single link from the content.

History of Domain Popularity

At the end of the last millennium, search engines were much less complex than they are today. For this reason, search engine optimization (SEO) was also simpler than it is today. For example, it was enough to use relevant keywords everywhere in abundance on a web page to get a good position in the SERP.

At the same time, backlinks became increasingly important as a measure of the relevance of a search hit. They have persisted as a digital recommendation ranking factor to this day. However, at the beginning of the millennium it was still important to get as many backlinks as possible in order to achieve good positions in the search result lists. Link popularity was, therefore, the goal of all SEO work.

However, it quickly became clear that although the metric of link popularity could be used to make an approximate statement about the strength of a website, this metric could easily be influenced by massive spam measures.

With Domain Popularity, a metric was finally found after PageRank that takes into account the quality of the link-giving pages and not just the quantity.

What does the Domain Popularity say about a website?

Basically, this KPI tells about a website whether it has been linked to by many different domains or not. There is no fixed benchmark for a high Domain Popularity.

In addition to the number of different domains, many other factors such as Bad Neighbourhood — “neighbourly” websites that violate the webmaster guidelines of search engine providers, Trust or the distribution of backlinks to different Class C networks as well as the domain popularity of the linking websites count in the evaluation of a link profile. The Domain Popularity is, therefore, only one value among many. However, it can provide initial indications for evaluating a domain and is more accurate than pure link popularity.

Domain Popularity vs. Domain Authority vs. Visibility

Since domain popularity is usually only one of many metrics used to assess the quality of a website, there are many different tools on the market that work with other KPIs. These include domain authority and visibility. In contrast to domain popularity, other KPIs include additional parameters in their scales. For example, the visibility in the SERP, the linking from social media sources or the trust and power of the linking page also play a role.

How do you increase your domain popularity?

The Domain Popularity can be increased very simply — namely by setting links from as many different link sources as possible. For a long time, it was very popular to use online press release distributors to increase the domain popularity. The PM was published once with a link to the target page and many other portals then put it online as well. Thus, the target page received over 50 backlinks from different domains with just one announcement.

However, this method is also no longer effective today, since Google, for example, can interpret too many backlinks with the same anchor text as spam. The same applies to cheaply purchased backlinks on different domains. Long practiced by SEOs, these methods also show the limits when domain popularity becomes the KPI for search engine optimization. Even for search engine providers, domain popularity is only one of many benchmarks to evaluate the relevance and trust of a website.



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