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is there any formal definition of what a backlink is? how does it differ from forward links (though idunno hwat forward links are either).
then how come my page rank on my google toolbar is nearly half but I don't have any backlink when I click the button (in the toolbar)?
Why might your site show a toolbar PageRank without backlinks? There are many factors that count, backlinks are only part of the equation.
There are also backlinks that can hurt you. Those from link farms and unrelated sites count against you.
Not to sure about this one, I was thinking that these links are found and just "not count" towards a website ranking factor. However who YOU link to does have implications and can hurt / help your website.
I doubt if any links can hurt. At most, they get disregarded. However, you really do want to be associated with the top sites in your content niche, if possible (good neighborhoods). Association with link farms and other schemes (bad neighborhoods) can mean a lot worse than disregarded links.
.....I discovered (through the kind contributors here at WebmasterWorld - that a link: search doesn't show all the links.
Other techniques I've found for finding who links to you are checking alexa.com (not so reliable, but gives some info), and also searching on google for variants on your company and domain name ie "www.yourdomain.com" search on google shows search results where this string is present on the page where if you remove the quotes google just takes you to the site. Hope that helps some...
This is not how you will gain knowledge ..
Next time before posting a question atleast try and search for it on google... If you dont find the answer then ask the question here :)