Yea, yea, I know that 99% of my readers also read SEOMoz.org, but I still gotta point out a great article by Michael Martinez in SEOMoz about high quality links vs sheer number of backlinks.
Michael starts with:
I have to admit I almost gag every time I read a forum discussion that starts out with a variation on the following:
I have a (insert topic here) Web site with a couple hundred quality links. The site is (insert number of months) months old but it still seems to be sandboxed. My competitors all have (insert some number here) backlinks and their pages are (spammy/unprofessional/incomplete/duplicate content/icky). But they rank higher than me. Why is that?
and towards the end he states:
The point is, if you don’t trust the source of your links for your own surfing, that’s a pretty good indication of what kind of quality you’re getting with your backlinks. High Quality Links are not easy to get. They may indeed cost you money, but they aren’t priced on the basis of PR. They are priced on the basis of a business model that doesn’t take search engine placement into consideration.
and everything in the middle is good thoughts to chew on.
Check out the whole article by Michael Martinez on High Quality Links.