Back-links are a very simple concept. They are just incoming links to a website or webpage. Before the time of the Search Engine back-links were extremely important as they were the primary method of navigation on the internet. But they still have significance even today. Back-links are the backbone of the Search Engine optimization techniques. The number of back-links and depending on this and other factors it is a rough indicator of how popular a website is. Without Search Engine optimization it’s harder for the search engines to understand how popular a website is. In addition to that back-links are a measure of who is paying attention to that particular site. If we think from the basic link terminology, a back-link can be defined as any link, received by a web node where a web node is a web page, directory, website, or top level domain, from another web node. Back-links are also known as incoming links, inbound links, in-links, and inward links.
Search engines use back-links as one of the most important ways to judge how popular a website truly is to analyze the back-links pointing to that website. If we take search Giant Google for instance, their page ranks system notes that a back-link from site A to site B be the equivalent of a vote from site A to site B. This knowledge has resulted in the birth and fueling of the phenomena known as link spam. Where someone places large numbers of back-links to a site regardless of the state of the originating site.
However many websites employ various Search Engine optimization techniques in order to increase the number of back-links that come back to their site. One of the most common ways is that called link-baiting. Here the site will place sometime or news piece that is exclusive and one that everyone wants to know. Then everyone from the other sites wills back-links because they will have to back-links in order to link to the item.
Back-links themselves have certain amounts of value. Back-links from high quality sites with good traffic and great reputations are highly prized and valuable. If both the sites have similar topics and have content geared towards the said topic, such back-links are considered to be very highly valuable. A back-link could be considered the equivalent of an editorial vote for the webpage or website receiving the link from the website that is granting the back-links. Another part of the back-links is the anchor text on the links. With the creation of Web 2.0 getting back-links have now become easier than ever. Most sites have an interactive nature to them which makes them ideal for posting up links in comments and widgets and similar places.