In the world of Internet Marketing, backlinks are one of the most talked about factors of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). A backlink is a hyperlink on a site elsewhere on the web that links back to your website. It is like an advertisement or endorsement for your website. A website isn’t as well optimized unless it has some worthy backlinks and it is unlikely to have a good position in Google search results without having quality backlinks.
Backlinks are sometimes called inbound links (IBLs), as they bring in traffic to the websites from external sources. The importance of backlinks lies in the fact that they indicate how popular or how important a particular website is. They contribute to SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) as the search engine crawlers find you more readily in other locations. Google search results are largely driven by backlinks but not all search engines behave the same way. Bing and Yahoo do not give equivalent importance to backlinks.
Since backlinks work like a reference or a recommendation for a website, the quality of the source also plays a vital role. Not all backlinks will help your website become popular, so you need to make sure that you get some quality backlinks from reputable websites. It would be wise for you to choose a quality backlink over a large number of links coming from spam and unpopular websites.
Some of the easiest ways of building quality backlinks are getting listed in directories and posting in forums, blogs and article directories. Try getting a backlink from a website which has a higher Google PageRank than yours, this will stamp authenticity on your website.
There are other ways of building backlinks that are considered unacceptable and unethical for webmasters to employ like inter-linking from one site to another site with the same owner, getting links from link farms and purchasing links in bulk. You should monitor the performance of your backlinks from time to time using an analytical tool to see if the traffic to your website has increased and what kind of traffic you get from the backlinks. Do not try to spam your link in directories and forums with too much of a sales pitch as you might be removed from the forum altogether.
Summary: Backlinks are an integral part of search engine optimization. They promote the website through links posted in other sites which are found by search engine crawlers very easily.