What are backlinks
A backlink (German: back reference) or inbound link (German: incoming link) is an incoming external link from one website to another. Before the emergence of search engines, links were a primary means of web navigation. Today backlinks are important for search engine optimization. The number of backlinks is often to be interpreted as an indication of the popularity or importance of a website and whether a page enjoys a high reputation (link popularity) on the web.
There are several factors that determine the value of a backlink. Backlinks from authoritative pages that come from so-called trusted domains and are linked in a topic-relevant manner are very valuable. If both sides link to each other in a relevant manner, the backlink is considered relevant and rated positively by the search engine. If a backlink is trustworthy and relevant to the topic, it can have a strong influence on the search engine rankings of the linked website.
A backlink is not just a recommendation of the content, but is an "editorial voice" for the website. The Fresh Web Explorer software, for example, can be used to identify all the backlinks on a website.
Anchor text 
Another important factor is the anchor text of a backlink. The anchor text is the descriptive identification of a hyperlink. Depending on how the anchor text is declared, it will appear in the text. Google carefully examines the anchor texts to determine their relevance. Here too, "unnatural" anchor texts were often generated in the past.
Importance for SEO 
Search engines often use the number of backlinks a page has to determine the popularity and importance of the website on the internet. Google's algorithm and the PageRank system are based on the logic that a page that links another page regards it as a recommendation. The assumption is that the more backlinks a website has, the better it will rank in search results. This assumption led to the accumulation of spam methods by some search engine optimizers, such as placing as many inbound links on their website as possible. Article directories were sometimes used for this purpose. This resulted in link farms and link sellers who tried massively to manipulate the search engines with them.
Nowadays, the quality of a backlink is more of a concern than the number of external inbound links. Due to some Google algorithm updates such as the Penguin Update, poor quality links can now be easily identified and devalued by Google. Sometimes it is even dangerous to use unauthorized methods for link building, as you risk that the entire domain will be banned from the Google search engine index and / or receive another penalty. However, if cross-linking with other trustworthy domains is used sensibly, the ranking can benefit.
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