goodroi - 11:49 am on Dec 7, 2012 (gmt 0)
Links never stopped being effective. If you are planning on only using "white hat" ways than you should probably brainstorm some "white hat" ways to get backlinks.
For example run a big sale and notify the bloggers in your industry. Without even asking the bloggers for a link, these bloggers will write about your sale and naturally link to your site. Also by running a sale you will naturally expose your business to new customers looking for a deal which is good to grow your business away outside of Google.
With a bit of creativity you can build links in a "white hat" way.