Backlinks are one way links from one website to another. A backlink is website A linking to website B without getting anything in return, as opposed to a reciprocal link where websites A and B link to eachother. Backlinks are what Google bases its PageRank system on and is vital for search engine optimisation. The more backlinks a website has the better and the higher quality they are the more chance your website has of ranking well on Google.
Backlinks are very unpredictable to count on a website because Google keeps its data on this a well guarded secret. Search engines like to keep their figures on backlinks hidden so that people can’t see their competitors backlinks . For our figures we use tools such as Yahoo Site Explorer, Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO which all provide different results. They tend to update their figure every 2-6 weeks depending on the crawl rate of the website. These figures aren’t 100% reliable but it’s all we have to gauge, and our clients can see the links for their website rise in accordance with our link building efforts.