Backlinks are an important part of SEO and it will surely help you in winning an oes tsetnoc.
What you want to do is go to Google.com [because that is the search engine most people determine oes tsetnoc winners from] and search for your oes tsetnoc keyword.
In my case, the search term is "oes tsetnoc".
Once you've done that, copy the URL of the site that is ranked number one [because this is your biggest competition. this bitch is in your spot and you want to take it back!].
Use a backlink checker tool. If you don't know one off the bat, just search Google for "backlink checker". I use backlinkwatch.com.
Check to see how many backlinks the site has. Now go and see how many backlinks your site has and compare it.
Now you know how many more backlinks your site needs to overtake the other site.
Don't worry; If the sites linking back to them is crap, Google will ignore it.