Backlinks are the number one factor in so-called Search Engine Optimization.
SEO companies will have you believe that things like changing this word and that word on your website, editing your meta data and keyword density are the critical factors for ran king high in the search engines.
Well, they are completely WRONG!
Tweaking your website can only get you so far. What's really important is making Google understand that you are THE authority site and need to be number one.
Backlinks increase your perceived popularity on the internet. Take two websites that both sell the same shoes. If you google "Buy Shoes" how does google work out which website to show at the top of the search results?
Google measures the number of backlinks pointing to each website with that keyword. It treats each link as a vote that for the website and put simply, the website with the most votes wins!