Why is it when search engines look at 200+ factors (maybe lots more than that now), everyone thinks that links and keywords are all SEO is?
The answer to that is simple. In the early days, search engines were easily manipulated using these techniques and old habits die hard. Also, legends persist. Every client that comes to me these days is obsessed with the topic due to all the hype out there. Way back when, someone came up with the idea of marketing the concept of gaming the system (aka SEO Services) and called it a service. The only service that resulted in my opinion is the dis-service done to the legitimate efforts of pioneering companies to index the web and to a world that relies on their ability to do so on a daily basis.