Don't be fooled by the link building factories
There's a whole industry that's been created off the back of Google making changes to its algorithms. This industry survives by churning out tons of emails, articles and tweets about what web site owners need to do to avoid being hurt by the latest Google change. The fact is that many sites aren't impacted at all. This is mainly because they haven't done anything that would get them penalised.
Check you analytics regularly
The key thing you must do as a web site owner is check your analytics reguarly to see if anything has significantly changed in terms of visitors. These changes may be positive or negative.
In respect of links it still remains the case that having links to your site from other sites is important. It's even better if those sites that link to yours do so with consideration to what they're linking to and why. A link from an online store selling soft toys isn't going to get a big tick from google if your site is about kitchens. On the other hand a link from a DIY blog to your kitchen site will be considered relevant and will therefore get a big tick. This is a simplified example and other factors come into play in determining the quality score Google will give each link to your site.
Focus on quality not quantity
The point to bear in mind is that quality does outweigh quantity. This is true in several ways. The first is that Google clearly regards quality as more important than quantity. This is helpful in achieving better search rankings, though many other factors influence ranking. The other truth is that a quality link will in itself deliver traffic to your site. This may be a light bulb moment for some? It's easy to forget that at one time links were all about getting traffic and not about influencing search rankings. This may be another light bulb moment?
The Traffic Bonus
Quality links will deliver traffic. How much is dependent on how much traffic the linking site is getting to the page on which their link to your site is placed. The beauty of links that provide traffic is that they are immune to changes that Google may make to how it grades links.
There you have it, quality links are good for more than just SEO reasons. It's an example of why quality outweighs quantity.
What You Can Do Today
Ask yourself, would you link to your site? What would be your initial reaction of your site when you first arrived through a link from another site?
It's very easy to slip into a mindset that's only interested in meeting what you think will get you well ranked on the search engines. The truth is that what will get you well ranked in the search engines and get other sites linking to you is QUALITY CONTENT.
Be honest with yourself and if your assessment is that you wouldn't link to your site and you wouldn't be captivated by your sites content then you should build a plan for progressively improving the quality of your sites content. Focus on the most important areas first and be realistic about how much you can achieve.