Backlink Basics

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Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward 
links, are incoming links to a website or web page. In basic link terminology, 
a backlink is any link received by one web page, directory, or top level 
domain from another web page. 
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 
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. Google's description of their PageRank 
system, for instance, notes that Google interprets a link from page A to page 
B as a vote, by page A, for page B. Knowledge of this form of search engine 
rankings has fueled a portion of the SEO industry commonly termed 
linkspam, where a company attempts to place as many inbound links as 
possible to their site regardless of the context of the originating site.

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