One of the ways in which a search engine will rank its search results is by its popularity or perceived importance regarding the keyword or key phrase being searched for.
You can improve the popularity or importance of a page by creating backlinks or inbound links to the page from others. In the fledgling years of the internet, these links were important as a primary means of web navigation. Now, their greatest significance is in Search Engine Optimisation.
The number of backlinks to a web page is a means of determining its popularity or importance and creating a number of them will improve your site’s chances of appearing at the business end of search results listings.
In the description of Google’s page rank system, they state that “Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B”. This created a growing trend for generating large numbers of inbound links.
Now, in order to be most effective, these links must satisfy a number of criteria to determine the importance of each link. The best way to ensure that backlinks to your page read as being important and useful is to ensure that both websites are geared toward the keyword topic. If the website in which the inbound link is placed is also relevant to the terms of the search, this link is considered to be useful and will contribute to the popularity or importance of your page.
If you’re are able to place backlinks onto established and authoritative site, you stand a much greater chance of success.
Another important factor when using backlinks to bolster your SEO campaign is the anchor text attached to the inbound link. The anchor text is the descriptive labelling of the hyperlink as it appears on a webpage. If this text is relevant to the search terms the link will gain authority and usefulness.
Creating backlinks, then, is another proven way to optimise your sites search engine potential, but the practice does carry a warning. A website’s ranking can be penalised for building too many backlinks over a short period of time. In some extreme cases, websites have been de-indexed altogether.