Aaron has a good post on linking strategies.
“Directory listings provide quick and easy co-citation data. A trivial expense for large businesses, but they can be costly for people new to the web.
Squidoo is quick and easy to set up a free topical page on. By mentioning your site along with some of the top sites in the same field you can get some quick co-citation data, while also showing that you are an industry expert.
Google Notebook ….I think it is a great marketing tool for new webmasters. You can create notebooks about different topics then mark them to be publicly accessible”
I think these strategies are growing increasingly important. Social bookmarking and the media of participation are the way forward. Having a link appear on page three of a “swap links with us” page is not marketing, it’s just sad. If webmasters want great links, they should be publishing and participating more often.
Incidentally, I recommend The Cluetrain Manifesto to those who haven’t read it yet (it’s free) and the reason I started blogging. It can be a bit vague in places, and obtuse in others, but there are some real gems hidden within:
“Networked markets are beginning to self-organize faster than the companies that have traditionally served them. Thanks to the web, markets are becoming better informed, smarter, and more demanding of qualities missing from most business organizations.“
The site at the top doesn’t necessarily win, not in the long run. The site that matches the search query with the users intent, and then provides that user with the experience they have come to expect, will win.
Bolting on SEO seldom works. SEO must be integrated into a broader marketing strategy.