CainIV - 3:47 am on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)
Lots of backlinks should correlate with some other mentions here and there.
Not necessarily. Based on the vertical as well. Tons and tons of websites do perfectly fine in verticals where little to no social presence, or "early" presence is just starting.
With all of the data Google does have they sure have a very difficult time with link relevancy and understanding of the quality of inbound links to sites.