QUOTE(RschudelWA @ Mar 17 2014, 06:11 AM)
I'm very new to the arena of internet marketing. How important are backlinks? Does google like them or punish you for having them? Honestly I have heard both. Some people have told me don't worry about backlinks, google doesn't like them and you won't get ranked very well if you have them. On the other hand people have also told me that you will get ranked higher if you have good backlinks. I feel like you can't have it both ways, so which is it? Are they good for ranking or detrimental?
It depends on the quality of your backlinks... if you build a blog or website you need to optimize it with the right keywords and build some backlinks in order to rank in the search engines as good as possible.
Backlinks are like bridges to your website/blog so people can find it.
You can build backlinks from other websites/blogs, videos, articles, social media, pictures etc.
It's more important to have great unique content and target the right keywords in your articles... then you can focus on building backlinks. I suggest you learn about market & keyword research first... only if you really want to build your own blog/website.
There are enough ways to make money online without having a website... and if you have money you can pay other people to do all this complicated stuff for you. It will save you a lot of time and stress!