How your page ranks extends far beyond page content. Link popularity is based on quality inbound and outbound links found on both your site and the web. Each links acts as a tally. It tells a Search Engine to place votes for your site. The *more inbound links* (or links pointing to you) the better! Google Pagerank is all about popularity and how sites link your importance.
The properties of an inbound links is its type. A link can either be a piece of text or image. All quality inbound links must have text containing the keywords for a certain page in your site. Every page’s link popularity will depend on the *quality* of these inbound links. Ultimately these links will boost your rankings.
Beware though that over doing a website with too much optimization will work against you. As you add content always think as a real site visitor and not the search-bot. Then go back after you page is written and at this point examine whether or not there is opportunity for some optimization.
Image links can also give you some additional ranking boost and popularity . But lately this is not as much of a factor as the actual content of the page. By adding an alt tag to the image and associated keywords you can flag to the Engines more about the link. But again, try not to overdo the key-wording here either. Create the alt tag with the visitor in mind. By overdoing either inbound links or spammy alt tags you will hurt your rankings eventually.