taberstruths I stopped building links through the traditional methods. Branding is all about building links. The ones you don't have any input in and are built on the whim of the user/business/form/blog/advertising/marketing/trade shows and so on.
I do suggest (sometimes) the link, but most of my links are tracking links that 301 redirect to specific pages for ROI analysis.
In other forms or linkedin I became a poster that people specific to our industry linked to. This brought in many links from other "like" industries.
Google has had 12 years of developing patterns in the way links are created by users and not SEO's.
I quit posting on how I rank my sites now because as I have said before the net has become a crowed place. Why would I post to the world how I make my living. What I do is read, read, read and study other websites that rank.
I don't go to the #1 spot I look at 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 spots.
I listen to any Google employee over and over.
I try to get into their heads, I try to see their vision, I understand their not out to get me but improve (In their mind) the serps.
Branding is a way I work with my customers and explain to them if they are not willing to put effort, time, money, and sweat into their sites I won't be able to help them.
I don't take clients that want or think their is a "magic pill" but are willing to slowly build a strong profile or develop their Brand.
Building a Brand is all about links BTW just built differently.