Link building is important and if anything, I’ve fallen victim to the idea that more is always better. For the most part, any link from a related website in a “good neighborhood” won’t hurt your website so in that sense more is better. The only question left is, which ones are best?
Obviously, its links that DO NOT contain a “nofollow” or “external” tag. Some websites will add these to comments and trackbacks (and mine probably does too because I’m not much on the technical end I just like having software that will publish my essays for me). Of course, there’s the school of thought that you want rel_nofollow on the links leaving your website, but I’m not sure if that really affects things because one of my pages got penalized hard for a few bad links with nofollow even though I took them down within a day.
So, anyway, I like to go to Yahoo Site Explorer a couple times a week and type in link:mydomain.com to search how the link tree is growing. The results fluctuate so I try to not look too often…and I’m not sure what exactly I should be getting from the list. It does show, I believe, some of the relative weight of the various links. The ones toward the top tend to be the most valuable and the ones at the end much less effective. Internal linking matters too, so don’t completely ignore the links from your own domain. Regardless of the search engine results, you still want your website to be well-linked to itself so your users can find their way around the various topics and themes without spending too much precious time searching.