Image via WikipediaBacklinks are simply links around the web that direct people back to your blog, website, or article. Others can create links to your work by bookmarking them in Digg, delicious, Technorati and other social bookmarking sites, or by putting links to your stuff in their own blog, website, or article.
Often when you leave comments online, you are allowed to input a ‘URL’. This is where you would type in the address to your blog or website. Then, when people read your comment, they can click on your name to follow your link. Another way to create your own links back to your work is to input them in your writer profiles and on other blogs and websites you have.
If you are curious as to who is backlinking to you (i.e. where your traffic may be coming from) one way is to use a backlink checker. These free and easy-to-use tools require only that you input the url of the blog, website, or article you wish to check. Some automatically input the ‘http’ or ‘www’ part, so watch for that when you input the web address or you will get an error message (or no results).
The most comprehensive I have seen is from Xinu Returns. It takes a few minutes, but it is worth the wait due to all the information you get from it. If you want to gather information in order to improve your rankings and increase page views, this is the tool to use.
If you just want to run a quick check out of curiosity, the other tools I like are:
Smart Page Rank