SEOsoon - 2:13 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)
I think that links are still the most important offpage factor for Google and other search engines.
As You said, new ranking factors are STILL correlating with links. The link theme has just been diversified and became more complicated with the emerge of e-shops, social networks, benchmarking, etc.
Itīs impossible to numeralize ... we are told that they are about 200 ranking factors but if link building had a weight, letīs say, of 25% per cent for offpage optimization it would still be the most important factor and it would still justify to focus on it.
I still believe in the power of links but Google has to improve fine tuning algo factors for trust and authority.