Search engines themselves have to give users the best results, to stay in business, so need to find which sites genuinely value the most.
There is a lot of information about the topic of backlinks online; unfortunately the majority of the content is out of date or misleading. In the early days of the cyberspace, a link to another site showed that the site linking to it valued that another site in some fashion. So as part of their search engine ranking algorithmic rule, Google and other search engines at first treat a backlink as a “vote” for the site it connected to, and the more votes a site has, the higher the search engine results it would-be placed (other factors being equal). Soon website owners realized that they could create backlinks themselves, and thus rapidly get near the top of the search engine results, and so get lots of traffic and make lots of wealth. However search engines do not accept this practice, because these artificially created backlinks are not actual “votes” for the site they link to so don’t equate to the site having real quantity. The search engines themselves have to give users the best results, to stay in business, so need to find which sites genuinely value the most. So Google and the some other search engines are well ahead than most webmasters. Search engines are trying to devalue any backlinks made on the orders of the website owner, and the website owners trying to make their inorganic backlinks look as natural as possible so Google thinks that they are natural.
Backlinks can be used to increase website traffic to your site and to the internal pages, as well as to other inbound links such as articles and videos, which link to your primary site. So for example, it is a best idea to create social bookmarks about your articles and videos, which will step-up the “link power” of those different articles and videos. It can be instructive to take a look at some popular and booming sites same to yours, and see what their ratio of links to homepage and inner pages is, so you can aim for a similar for your own site. As with other aspects of SEO, there is a lot of incorrect info about such things, so always check the realism for yourself, instead of assuming that other alleged (or self-proclaimed) “gurus” are giving accurate and up-to-date info. Now that Yahoo Site Explorer is unfortunately no longer accessible, the website PaidBacklinks.com offers a similar help where you can check numbers of backlinks to a particular page.