Backlinks are an industry term for when another website links back to yours.  Google includes the quantity and quality of backlinks as a ranking factor when determining which sites show for searches.  Quality is far more important than quantity.  In fact, having 1000s of low quality backlinks can actually hurt your rankings because they can be seen as spammy.  Whereas, having a few high quality backlinks can greatly improve your rankings.   The quality of a backlink is measured by Google, in part, by the quality and popularity of the linking website.

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