Links are references to one web page that direct a user to another webpage when they click on it.
Backlinks are links to your website that bring referral traffic from another website.
Search Engines treat links as votes of confidence or authority in website content, thus ranking higher linked to sites better than sites which do not have as many links.
Not all links are created equal though, as links from untrustworthy/spammy websites are not held in as high of regard as links that come from sites such as .gov, .edu or news sources.
How Internal Links & Backlinks Impact Search Rankings
As noted above, backlinks are considered in rankings as the more do-follow links from high quality websites a page has, the higher it will rank as it is considered to have authority on the target topic.
Links from undesirable sources to your content can be disavowed in Google & Bing Search Consoles, so that they do not have an adverse impact on your content’s rankings.
When link equity arrives at your content from backlinks from other sites, it is important to spread it to the rest of your site, boosting the domain’s authority.
This can be done by linking directly to other, closely related pages on your website, and is also passed along by links in your site’s navigation structure.
When launching a new part of your site, linking to a piece of that content from an existing URL that has a lot of link equity is one way to boost its ranking performance quickly.
Additionally, backlinks that go to URLs on your site that no longer exist or to typo’d URLs can be re-directed using a 301 re-direct to push the link equity to live pages on your site, as to not waste the link equity.