Explaining the Value of Incoming Links
Seopscentre does a great job of explaining the value of incoming links in layman’s terms. While I’ve generally gone into the history of Sergey Brin’s idea of citation analysis, they’ve found a much simpler way to explain the concept. I’ll quote at length, below the fold.
Links are like the light from a torch beam
Try to imagine that each link pointing towards your site is like a beam of light from a torch. A link from a small PR1 site could be equated to the light from a handheld torch, while a link from a large authority site may be more like the beam of a spotlight or the Bat-Signal.
The more links pointing to your site and the more powerful they are, the brighter your site will shine, making it easier for Google to “see” what’s in your site when they’re looking to see if you’re relevant to a searcher’s query.
The brighter the lights shining on your site are, the brighter your own site will shine, so links out from your site will pass more value to their destinations and cause them to shine brighter as well.
Does this explanation make sense to you? If something doesn’t add up in the above analogy, let me know.