Hi all - I read that links are becoming less important to search engines and rankings generally and that msn for example is putting less emphasis on them now. Just beginning to put the effort into a links campaign but don't want to do that if this is the trend.
I don't think links in general are becoming less important. One thing that does appear to be having less of an impact is link exchanges. The link back tends to cancel out any positive impact from the link you are receiving.
Good one way links are defiantly still worth their weight in gold.
My understanding is stand incoming links still play a very important role for SEO, especially with Google. I am quite sure msn detects incoming links faster. Nevertheless, it is important that the inbound links should be a quality vote. It may cause more harm if the link come from a bad neighbor or some blacklisted site.
For a good laugh try searching Google for a given term [your term] and then compare the results to a search for [inanchor:your term] the top results are so very, very similar (at least in SERPs that I follow) that you could say that Google's standard search is a slightly modified inanchor search.