Imagine a scenario where you have a blog about Malaysian news. You post 4-5 times a day and it is now 6 months old.
Now try going to Google and type in "Malaysian News". You will find that the first few results are for The Star, Bernama and Malaysia today. But you blog is also related to Malaysian news, why isn't your blog shown in the first few results?
Think about this. There are literally millions of websites out there talking about the same topics again and again. Just ask yourself this simple question, how many news blogs/websites that you are aware of? Google can't show all of them in the first page.
So how does Google determine who should be first in the results, second and so on? The answer lies in backlinks.A backlink is a link placed in a website other than yours, but is pointing back to your website. Now just imagine this scenario, you read an interesting news on thestar.com.my and you would want to tell your friends about it. What do you do? You will copy the URL from the address bar in your browser, and paste it on Facebook, or post it on Lowyat.net. That is one backlink for The Star.
Google determines who should be on the first page based on the number of backlinks a website has. If you blog has 1000 links while another blog of your friend has only 10 links, it makes sense to Google and even ourselves that your blog is more popular than your friends correct?
So does that mean that you should go all out and build as many links as possible? No. Backlinks are very important but there is more to how Google makes a decision than just by the number of backlinks a website has.
For now, this should give you a very clear idea of what and how backlinks work.