tedster - 5:32 pm on Oct 3, 2011 (gmt 0)
With Google, it seems to me that any links you can get by just sitting at your keyboard and placing them are minimal in value - really minimal. There is possibly "some" accumulated value, but for competitive SERPs, it's not going to do the job these days.
As kd454 mentioned it's the "in-content" links that do a great job - but how do you get those? First, you've got to develop content that another site would want to recommend to their visitors. And second, you've got to let those sites know about your content, somehow or other. A well developed social media presence can help, as can direct, one-on-one outreach. But none of that is easy and it can't be done with a totally automated approach.
This is content marketing, and it takes a kind of real networking and relationship building to be truly effective. Over time, the positive effects can start to snowball, but still, it always starts with the quality and uniqueness of content you are offering on your site.