cnvi - 8:30 pm on Nov 12, 2011 (gmt 0)
I've been talking about this for the past ten years (through my blog on our business website). Some of you say I am "bleeding page rank". Hogwash.. I ignore pagerank and all of these other metrics because a new high quality site with low metrics/rankings today is a high quality ESTABLISHED site with higher rankings next year.
I link out to quality sites, respectfully ask for a link back.. sometimes I get the linkback, sometimes I dont.
I can get a new site to rank well just by linking out to a couple dozen high quality sites and in most cases 10-20% will link back to me.
Linking is a branding function first, a traffic building function second, and a seo function last. Don't ever forget that.