Notion Backlinks vs Roam [2023] Exploring the Power of Backlinks


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Notion Backlinks vs Roam: the ultimate showdown of note-taking apps. 

Which one will come out on top? 

We’ll explore the features, benefits, and drawbacks of each to help you make an informed decision. Spoiler alert: there’s no clear winner, so keep reading to find out why.

Introduction: Notion Backlinks vs Roam

When it comes to organizing information and boosting productivity, tools like Notion and Roam Research have gained immense popularity. 

Both platforms offer unique features that cater to the needs of knowledge workers, students, and professionals alike. 

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Notion backlinks and compare them with Roam, examining their functionality, benefits, and potential drawbacks. 

By the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of how these tools can enhance your workflow and help you connect ideas in a seamless manner.

Understanding Backlinks

Before we dive into the specifics of Notion backlinks, let’s take a moment to understand what backlinks are. 

In the realm of web development and search engine optimization, backlinks are hyperlinks that direct users from one webpage to another. 

They establish a connection between different pages, enabling users to navigate through related content effortlessly.

Now, you might be wondering how backlinks relate to note-taking and knowledge management tools like Notion and Roam. 

Well, these platforms have introduced the concept of backlinks within their own ecosystems, allowing users to create connections between different pieces of information.

Notion “Global” Blocks: Unleashing the Power

Notion, known for its versatility and flexibility, offers a feature called “Global” Blocks, which serve as the foundation for its backlinking capabilities. 

Global Blocks act as containers for information that can be referenced and reused across multiple pages within a Notion workspace.

Imagine you have a project management template that contains crucial information about tasks, deadlines, and resources. 

With Notion’s Global Blocks, you can embed this template on various pages within your workspace. 

Any updates made to the template will automatically reflect across all linked instances, ensuring consistency and saving you valuable time.

This is where Notion’s backlinking prowess shines. 

By linking to a Global Block from another page, you establish a connection between the two. 

Whenever you make changes to the Global Block, the linked page updates accordingly. 

It’s like having a network of interconnected ideas, making it easier to navigate and explore your digital workspace.

The Power of Roam Research

While Notion’s Global Blocks offer impressive backlinking capabilities, Roam Research takes a slightly different approach. 

Roam is designed with a heavy emphasis on building a knowledge graph, where individual notes or “blocks” are interconnected to form a web of ideas.

In Roam, backlinks are created effortlessly as you type. When you mention an existing block in a new note, Roam automatically generates a backlink that connects the two. 

This process is known as “bidirectional linking” and allows for a seamless flow of information between related blocks.

The strength of Roam lies in its ability to surface connections and relationships you might not have initially considered. 

As you explore your knowledge graph, unexpected patterns and insights emerge, enabling you to grasp the bigger picture and foster creativity.

Notion Backlinks vs. Roam: A Comparative Analysis

Now that we’ve explored the fundamental concepts of Notion backlinks and Roam’s bidirectional linking, let’s compare the two approaches.


In terms of functionality, Notion’s Global Blocks excel at creating a centralized repository of information that can be reused across pages. 

It’s particularly useful for templates, frequently referenced content, or maintaining consistency within your workspace. 

On the other hand, Roam’s bidirectional linking shines when it comes to uncovering connections between ideas and facilitating nonlinear thinking.

User Interface and Experience

Notion boasts a sleek and visually appealing user interface. 

Its drag-and-drop functionality and customizable layouts make it a favorite among users who prioritize aesthetics and personalization. 

Roam, with its plain text editor, adopts a minimalist approach that focuses primarily on the content itself.

This simplicity can be a blessing for those seeking a distraction-free environment.

Collaboration and Sharing

Notion takes the lead in terms of collaboration and sharing capabilities. 

Its granular permissions allow for fine-tuning access levels, making it suitable for team collaboration and project management. 

Roam, on the other hand, lacks robust collaboration features, and while it offers some sharing options, they are not as comprehensive as those in Notion.

Pricing and Accessibility

Notion offers a free plan with limited features, making it accessible to individuals and small teams with basic needs. 

To unlock advanced functionality, such as permission settings and version history, a subscription is required. 

In contrast, Roam Research operates on a subscription-based model, which may be a deterrent for users seeking a free solution.

How I Use Notion Backlinks: 3 Use Cases

Notion backlinks offer a powerful way to connect and organize information within your digital workspace. 

They allow you to establish meaningful relationships between different pages, enhancing the way you structure and navigate your notes.

Here are three practical use cases showcasing how I leverage Notion backlinks to streamline my workflow and boost productivity.

1. People

One of the primary ways I utilize Notion backlinks is to create a comprehensive directory of people I interact with regularly. 

I have a dedicated page where I store information about colleagues, clients, friends, and other individuals I engage with professionally or personally. 

Each person has their own subpage within the directory, containing relevant details such as contact information, job title, and a brief bio.

Using Notion backlinks, I can easily reference and connect these individual profiles across various pages within my workspace. 

For instance, if I’m working on a project and need to mention a team member, I can simply create a backlink to their profile in my project notes. 

This allows me to quickly access their information, view any related tasks or discussions, and maintain a centralized hub for all things related to the person.

The beauty of this approach is that whenever I update someone’s profile, all the backlinked instances automatically reflect the changes. 

It saves me the hassle of manually updating information in multiple places and ensures that I always have the latest details at my fingertips.

2. Themes

Another way I leverage Notion backlinks is by organizing my notes and thoughts around recurring themes or topics. 

Let’s say I’m conducting research on various marketing strategies.

I create a main page dedicated to “Marketing Strategies” and populate it with subpages representing different strategies such as content marketing, social media advertising, and influencer partnerships.

Within each subpage, I delve into the specifics of the respective strategy, providing examples, case studies, and relevant resources. 

Using Notion backlinks, I establish connections between these subpages and other related pages within my workspace. 

For instance, if I come across an insightful article about content marketing, I can create a backlink to it within the content marketing subpage.

This interconnected web of backlinks allows me to navigate effortlessly between different strategies, access relevant information quickly, and gain a holistic understanding of the broader marketing landscape. 

It helps me identify patterns, draw insights, and ensure that no valuable information slips through the cracks.

3. Favorites

Notion backlinks also serve as a convenient way for me to curate a collection of my favorite resources, articles, and inspiration. 

I have a dedicated page called “Favorites” where I store links, quotes, and snippets that I find particularly valuable or interesting. 

This page acts as a personal repository of knowledge and inspiration.

Whenever I come across a noteworthy article, insightful tweet, or thought-provoking podcast episode, I create a backlink to it within my “Favorites” page. 

This allows me to build a curated library of resources that I can revisit whenever I need inspiration or reference material.

The real power of using Notion backlinks for favorites is that it creates a network of interconnected ideas and references. 

If I stumble upon a new article that relates to a specific topic I previously saved in my favorites, I can create a backlink from the new article to the relevant section in my “Favorites” page. 

This way, I can trace the connections and relationships between different resources and build a more comprehensive knowledge base.

FAQs About Notion Backlinks vs Roam

Is Notion better than Roam Research?

The answer to this question depends on individual preferences and specific use cases. Notion and Roam Research offer distinct features and functionalities. 

Notion is known for its versatility, customizable layouts, and robust collaboration options, making it suitable for team collaboration and project management. 

On the other hand, Roam Research focuses on building a knowledge graph with bidirectional linking, allowing for nonlinear thinking and discovering unexpected connections. 

It’s important to evaluate your needs and experiment with both tools to determine which one aligns best with your workflow.

Does Notion use backlinks?

Yes, Notion utilizes backlinks as a way to connect and reference information within its workspace. 

With Notion’s backlinking feature, users can establish connections between different pages, making it easier to navigate and explore related content. 

By creating backlinks, you can quickly access and update interconnected information, ensuring a cohesive and organized digital workspace.

What is the difference between Roam and Notion?

The main difference between Roam and Notion lies in their approach to note-taking and knowledge management. 

Notion offers a versatile and customizable platform with features like databases, Kanban boards, and templates, making it suitable for various use cases. 

Roam, on the other hand, focuses on building a knowledge graph through bidirectional linking, enabling users to create connections and uncover relationships between ideas. 

Notion provides a more structured and visually appealing interface, while Roam prioritizes simplicity and a plain text editor.

What does backlink mean in Notion?

In Notion, a backlink refers to a connection or hyperlink that is created between different pages or blocks of information within the workspace. 

By creating a backlink, you establish a reference or relationship between the linked content, allowing for easy navigation and exploration. 

Whenever changes are made to a backlinked page or block, all instances of the backlink are automatically updated, ensuring consistency and seamless connectivity throughout your Notion workspace.

Why do people like Notion so much?

People appreciate Notion for its flexibility, customization options, and wide range of features. Notion allows users to create a personalized digital workspace that suits their specific needs. 

Its versatile nature makes it suitable for various purposes, including note-taking, task management, project planning, and knowledge organization. 

Additionally, the visually appealing interface, collaborative capabilities, and cross-platform availability contribute to its popularity among individuals, teams, and organizations.

Is Notion overkill?

Whether Notion is considered overkill depends on the individual and their specific requirements. 

Notion offers a vast array of features and customization options, which may be overwhelming for those seeking a simple note-taking or task management tool. 

However, for individuals or teams looking for a robust all-in-one solution that can accommodate complex workflows and diverse needs, Notion’s extensive capabilities can be highly valuable. 

It’s important to assess your needs and evaluate if Notion aligns with your desired level of functionality.

Is there a better alternative to Notion?

Determining the “better” alternative to Notion depends on your specific needs and preferences. Several alternatives to Notion exist, each with its own strengths and focus. 

Some popular alternatives include Evernote, Trello, OneNote, and Google Keep. 

It’s recommended to explore these options, assess their features, user interfaces, and integrations to determine which one best suits your workflow and requirements.

Is Obsidian better than Roam?

Obsidian and Roam Research are both popular tools for note-taking and knowledge management. Each has its own set of features and approaches. 

Obsidian emphasizes local storage, markdown-based note-taking, and interlinking between notes. 

Roam Research, on the other hand, focuses on bidirectional linking and the creation of a knowledge graph. Deciding which tool is better depends on your personal preferences and the features that align with your workflow and note-taking style.

Which backlinks should be avoided?

In general, there are no specific backlinks that should be universally avoided in Notion. 

The suitability of backlinks depends on your specific use case and the purpose they serve within your workspace. 

However, it’s essential to ensure that your backlinks maintain relevance, clarity, and accuracy. 

Avoid creating backlinks that lead to irrelevant or outdated information, as this can disrupt the flow of your workspace and diminish the effectiveness of the interconnected network of ideas.

How do you create backlinks in Notion?

Creating backlinks in Notion is straightforward. To create a backlink, simply highlight the text or block you want to link and use the “Link to Page” feature. 

This will allow you to select the target page or block within your workspace and establish the connection. 

Once the backlink is created, you can navigate between the linked content by clicking on the backlinked text or block, providing quick access and seamless exploration of related information.

Are backlinks bad for SEO?

No, backlinks are not inherently bad for SEO. In fact, backlinks play a significant role in search engine optimization. 

They can enhance the credibility and authority of a webpage, especially when they come from reputable and relevant sources. 

Backlinks help search engines understand the relevance and popularity of a webpage, contributing to its ranking in search results. 

However, it’s important to note that the quality and relevance of backlinks are crucial. Spammy or irrelevant backlinks can have a negative impact on SEO.

What is the Google equivalent of Notion?

Google provides several tools that offer similar functionalities to Notion. 

Google Keep is a note-taking app that allows users to create and organize notes, set reminders, and collaborate with others. 

Google Docs offers a more robust document creation and collaboration platform.

 Google Sites provides a way to create and share websites, which can be customized to serve as a digital workspace. 

While these Google tools may not offer the exact same features as Notion, they can serve as alternatives depending on your needs.

Does Google have a Notion alternative?

Google offers various tools that can serve as alternatives to Notion for specific purposes. Google Keep, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Sites are some examples. 

Google Keep is a simple note-taking app, Google Docs is a powerful document editor, Google Sheets is a spreadsheet tool, and Google Sites allows you to create websites. 

While these tools may not provide the same level of customization and flexibility as Notion, they can be suitable alternatives depending on your requirements and familiarity with the Google ecosystem.

Should I use Notion or Google?

Deciding whether to use Notion or Google depends on your specific needs and preferences. 

Notion offers extensive customization, a wide range of features, and a visually appealing interface. 

It excels in creating a personalized and flexible digital workspace. 

On the other hand, Google provides a suite of collaborative tools that integrate seamlessly with other Google services. 

If you prioritize customization and flexibility, Notion might be the better choice. If collaboration and integration with other Google services are paramount, the Google suite of tools may be more suitable. 

Consider your priorities and workflows when making a decision.

Final Thoughts About Notion Backlinks vs Roam

In conclusion, the choice between Notion backlinks and Roam’s bidirectional linking ultimately comes down to personal preference and specific needs. 

Notion’s Global Blocks offer a centralized knowledge base and consistency, making it ideal for those who value structure and collaboration. 

On the other hand, Roam’s bidirectional linking promotes nonlinear thinking and uncovers unexpected connections, appealing to individuals who prioritize free-flowing ideation. 

Both tools have their unique strengths and can significantly enhance productivity and knowledge management. 

It is recommended to experiment with both platforms to determine which one aligns best with your workflow and supports your quest for seamless information organization and exploration.

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!

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