In this blog post we will define Back Link and also get into why they are so important to Search Engine Optimization and achieving higher rankings for specific keywords.

A back link is a hyperlink on a website or webpage that points back to your website.  I assume that you know what a link is but let’s make sure.  A link is text on a webpage that is usually blue and underlined that you can click on.  When you click on a link, a new page then opens in your internet browser.

Another way to look at this is if the webpage that opens after you click on a link happens to be yours, that link was pointing back to you, and we therefore, call this type of link a backlink.

The Wikipedia definition of backlink happens to be excellent and more important, easy to understand so I decided to include it.

Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or webpage. In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web node (webpage, directory, website, or top level domain) from another web node.

Inbound links were originally important (prior to the emergence of search engines) as a primary means of web navigation; today, their significance lies in search engine optimization (SEO). The number of backlinks is one indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page (for example, this is used by Google to determine the PageRank of a webpage). Outside of SEO, the backlinks of a webpage may be of significant personal, cultural or semantic interest: they indicate who is paying attention to that page.¹

Wikipedia then goes on to talk about the importance of backlinks in Search Engine Optimization.  Many times, mainstream sources of information will attempt to put a shiny perspective on SEO focusing on on-page optimization like having the right META tags and creating a site map, things that will help the search engine spider index your site.

Wikipedia put the focus where it should be, on links.

Here is what they said about it:

“Search engines often use the number of backlinks that a website has as one of the most important factors for determining that website’s search engine ranking, popularity and importance.” ¹

Backlinks are the number one ranking factor, right now, by far.  The only question remains how can we get backlinks that make things appear to the search engines that our website is becoming popular naturally?  This is the opposite of throwing thousands of links all over the web regardless of the context of the website linking to us, hoping that a few stick, also known as link spam.

¹ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back_link