ZydoSEO - 3:01 pm on Oct 1, 2013 (gmt 0)
I would focus on:
1) Identifying your targeted audience,
2) Determining where large groups of your targeted audience can be found online,
3) Figuring out what kind of content, resource, or tool you can create that would make those sites that your targeted audience frequents likely link to you because they feel what you have is great and would be useful/of interest to their visitors.
4) Build that great content, resource, or tool
5) Reach out to those sites and let them know that your great content, resource, or tool exists.
This will result in links (natural, editorial links) from those web sites where your targeted audience can be found. These kinds of links are about as algorithm proof as it gets.
Focus on getting links on sites where you can get targeted referrals and those sites will almost always be relevant and almost always be great for rankings.
If your are a US based firm and your audience is in the US, why would you want links from a site in India or England or Germany where, for the most part, NONE of your audience can be found? I don't care if that Indian, British, or German site does have relevant content, if your audience doesn't frequent that site then you're getting that link for the wrong reasons.
Sites I've been building out get roughly 25-30% referral traffic from those sites that link to me... and that traffic converts very well because it's very targeted.