What Is a Backlink?

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what is backlinkFrom Google to Bing and everything in between, backlinks serve as the pavement for the online road system, aiding users in finding content and contributing to an extensive network of interconnecting links and web nodes. The backlink has become a foundational part of the everyday Internet experience, whether that experience relates to social media, blogging or browsing. Yet as necessary and omnipresent as backlinks are to every Internet user, that necessity has often caused the finer details of backlinks to be overlooked.

It’s easy to ignore something so omnipresent online, but it’s important that users understand the finer points of backlinking to broaden their knowledge and also equip themselves with the tools to use backlinking to their advantage on their own personal website or social group. Users may know backlinks as inlinks, inward links or incoming links, but essentially, backlinks are simply a version of ‘links’, with links being the very inroads of the online world.

A backlink shows up to users as ‘clickable’ text that can direct them from one webpage to another, or from one ‘web node’ to another – bridging the gap between and allowing an increasingly easy and accessible network of online content. As backlinks connect one web node to another, they help to increase website traffic of each node by ‘back linking’ between each other.

If links can be thought of as a one way street, backlinks server as a two way connection between one article of content and another. In this sense, backlinks are truly the byways of the online world, mapping out highways, short cuts, and routes for users to travel as they explore an otherwise impenetrable glut of content. Search engines like Google utilize backlinks in order to determine the popularity and ranking of a webpage, while websites competing for that status explore optimization techniques that aim to increase the amount of backlinks that will point to their website, and ultimately ‘up’ said popularity and ranking.


Thepage rankof the given site can therefore determine the value of backlinks, for the traffic measured on the backlink itself can deduce how popular the channel is and how the nodes are working off each other. In a literary sense, backlinks often function as the ‘footnotes’ of the online world; clickable text is positioned to redirect to authoritative sources explaining or expanding the noted sentence in which the backlink was positioned.

If these fundamental byways were to vanish from the Internet, there would be no navigation, as it is currently understood. Backlinks alone can link people ‘back’ to the source material, and lay down the avenues of connection between one node and another in ways that can be beneficial to both nodes. Successfully managing these backlinks can boost a website’s traffic and readership tenfold depending on where the links go and where such bridges as these are made. A seldom-visited personal blog can see a dramatic increase in traffic if a more popular website backlinks to them, and this was the original reasoning apparent in HTML language, which sought to create and sustain backlinks before there was even a mechanism in place to track the backlink traffic.