palimadra - 6:08 pm on Dec 8, 2012 (gmt 0)
Links are always going to be one of the factors for determining the rank of a website. It would be unfair if a website is not ranked based on the backlinks if they are genuine.
Weeding our non genuine backlinks will take time. Everyone will appreciate that a process cannot be put in place that weeds our blackhat backlinks but I think the search engines are getting there and perhaps in a few months they would be doing a better job.
Meanwhile spending time on building backlinks using whitehat techniques is the strategy to follow as it is bound to show results in the short run and long run. @goodroi's suggestion is a good one to use to create backlinks to start with.