Link popularity is simply the total number of web pages that link to your web page. Link popularity is an extremely important factor that is used by most of the major search engines to rank web pages and web sites. In general, the major search engines consider link popularity a key factor in their algorithms to determine the relevancy of your web page to a particular keyword search query.
Good link popularity is important because it can increase the visitor traffic to your web page. The reputation of your web site (i.e., votes of confidence from other web sites) is a measure of the site’s link popularity. Your web page rank (i.e., the position your web page occupies in a search engine’s results page) to a particular search query can be improved by increasing the number of relevant and quality web sites that have incoming links to your web page.
An incoming link is considered to be relevant if it is meaningful and relates to your web page. If you sell golf clubs online, relevant incoming links could be from: golf club manufacturers, golf apparel sites, competitors, golf-related directories and so forth. In addition, internal links (links from web pages within your web site) are considered relevant and essential because they help your web page visitor to navigate your web site.
It is not enough to just have web page links coming into your web page (link popularity). The quality of the incoming link is also critical. A search engine will put more emphasis on a high quality web page (ranked high by a particular search engine) than on a low quality web page (ranked low by a particular search engine). It will take many lower quality incoming links to approach the level of a single high quality incoming link.