tedster - 4:27 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)
First, ranking today is not just a matter of keywords and backlinks - far from it. Google is using over 200 signals and sites have been able to rank with ZERO backlinks, although once they do rank, they often begin to attract natural backlinks (and therein lies a big clue.)
There's nothing wrong with arranging just a few backlinks just to get the ball rolling. Biut arranged backlinks cannot be the whole game plan or else your profile will be too artificial, and Google is looking for signals that your site is naturally engaging to its market. They are still working with this direction, and they can certainly get it wrong, but this is the way I see Google heading.
The key is in the two words "content marketing". A lot has already bee written elsewhere about the idea, but it is essentially just what it sounds like. You've got great content? You offer a great service? Then get the word out about it... find a way to market what you've got.
Once you start the content marketing ball rolling, more and more the word will spread about your new site, assuming of course that your content really is good. And if it isn't, you'll get that feedback directly from your market and you'll need to up your game to get the site to really engage your audience.
You see, this is a lot more like conventional marketing... not just getting some technical signals into position. You still need various technical signals, especially clean on-site relevance signals and a sound structure. That's the foundation level of SEO. But then, it goes to your market interaction.
After all, both Google and Bing are watching browser signals - do the visitors scroll, to they abandon the page quickly, do they dig deeper into the site, etc, etc. It's silly to try to create signals like that artificially.