Opinions of the content on the site may vary but there is no doubt that the BBC’s website is one of the powerhouses on the internet. It ranks 42nd in the Majestic Million with very few websites having a better Trust Flow score than them. In the last 90 days, the site has had over 500 million external backlinks and just fewer than 750 thousand referring domains. In this blog post, I looked at what articles & specific topics on the BBC get the most referring domains, what websites link to these articles as well as whether there is a correlation between how linked and shared an article is. I did this by using BuzzSumo and Majestic. I used BuzzSumo to export the most shared articles from the 1st of January to the 11th of July. This not only shows the most popular articles on the BBC but it also shows how many domains are linking to each article. I then used Majestic’s Clique Hunter to find out what websites are linking to these articles. First of all, I looked at the most linked to topics on the BBC.

It’s no surprise to see that UK News dominates this chart as this is where the BBC is located. I did think that there would be more Election 2017 articles as it was a very eventful election where it seemed like there was a new controversy every day. After finding out what the most linked to topics are, I then found out what are the most linked to articles to see whether it was a mixture of topics or if it was dominated by one particular topic.

It was in fact dominated by health news despite being the second most linked to topic. How can this be? By using Clique Hunter we found out where these articles are getting their links from and saw whether they’re coming from health websites or a mixture of different type of sites.

There are over 4,000 websites linking to at least two of these articles and it is clear from the chart that these articles are being linked to on various different types of websites. For example, feedage.com and feedburner.com are RSS feed directories so it’s obvious that they’ll always include articles from the BBC. Speaking of RSS feeds, health centres in Scotland have a feed set up on their homepage to always include the latest Health News from the BBC and the NHS.

Another thing which appeared frequently in Clique Hunter was trib.al which is the tracking URL the BBC uses when they post an article on Twitter.

A different example would be how the NHS creates content by using these articles from the BBC and then analysing how the research in the article was carried out and whether the research is accurate or not.

After finding out where the top 5 are getting their links from, I then found out whether there is a correlation between the amount of referring domains an article gets and the amount of social shares it gets.

The numbers in the top 5 are fairly close however to go into this even further, I set up a Google Sheet with the top 100 most linked to articles to see whether there is a correlation which you can see here. I then did a reverse of the above and took the 5 most shared articles on the BBC in 2017 and checked the total of their backlink count.#

Unlike the other comparison, there is a considerable difference in the numbers this time around. As I have done in the previous comparison, I have set up the top 100 shared articles on the BBC which you can find here.

In conclusion, content such as research pieces tend to get more links whilst general news gets more social shares. The findings of this blog post show how content backed up by lots of research is a great link building tactic and can definitely help your sites SEO.



David Kenning


  • Ferda Mravenec

    so you did all that work just to prove what we all know, that you need content to get shares? wow, you will be good marketing specialist :)))))))))

    September 15, 2017 at 1:28 pm
    • David Kenning

      Hi Ferda, I think you’ve missed the point of this blog post as this post looks at what type of content on the BBC gets links and shares.

      September 19, 2017 at 9:39 am

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