Backlinks – also referred to as “incoming links” – are links pointing at pages on a website from other websites.
Why backlinks matter
Backlinks act as a kind of vote of confidence in a website, and search engines like Google pay great attention to them.
The volume and quality of backlinks correlate highly with how well regarded a website is by search engines. Websites with many links generally rank higher for keywords relating to those backlinks.
As Search Engine Optimization has become more sophisticated, many websites have used questionable practices to build artificial backlinks, to boost their search engine ranking. Search engines have responded with increasingly sophisticated analysis of backlinks. As such, link building (i.e. purposely obtaining links to a website) has become an important and complex part of effective Search Engine Optimization.