A backlink is a search engine optimization (SEO) term used for links that point to your site. You may have also seen them called inbound links or incoming links. Regardless of how often a search engine’s algorithm changes, backlinks are almost always an important ingredient.
Why? Because backlinks are a good indicator of how popular or relevant your site is. Although outbound links have no impact on SEO, backlinks actually do. Always have, always will.
For example, if you create a sports car niche blog site and place links to the top sites in the world (i.e. Top 3 as of this post are www.google.com, www.facebook.com, www.yahoo.com), it would be pointless for SEO purposes. Otherwise, everyone would do it what I just did (by listing outbound links) on their blogs, even if they have absolutely nothing to do with the content.
On the other hand, let’s say your sports car niche blog site, actually had quality posts. Now imagine if one of the top sports car sites, say www.motortrend.com, posts links your blog on a regular basis. Essentially, you have a power player (under 5k Alexa, PR6) in your niche community vouching for the content on your blog site. Shouldn’t that represent that your blog site has valuable content for that audience?
Remember, this is just part of the top secret search engine formula that the public will never fully know. However, since we know that it’s important and it’s somewhat easy to do, doesn’t it make sense to ensure we get some backlinks on our site? And I didn’t even get into the PR juice!