To get strong links pointing to your site you need to make your website the best it can possibly be. Content is king and always will be. If you learn nothing else about online marketing, remember that the content/text you place on your website and the effort you put out on SEO will determine how successful you are with online marketing. Your website needs lots of unique text rich pages with a minimum of 300 words.
Link popularity is what you need to come up top in Google. It is like being popular at school. The more friends you have the more popular you are, so the more credibility you have. The more links you have the more popular you are. But if you had say 80 links and your competitors only have 40 it could be that some of their links are strong than yours. It would be similar to someone having 80 friends, but the person with 40 had half a dozen famous friends like Posh and Becks or Madonna. So it is not always about numbers but quality links. Some of your best links could be from your competitors sites. Finding the links is the tricky part. Some webmasters have a fairly high standard for linking. If your entire website looks like an advertisement you will struggle to get strong links. There is nothing worse on a website than flashing banner ads. And even more annoying than the actual look of them is that many site owners use adverts which are not even relevant to that market. So as well as having an annoying banner that is putting you off reading the web page, the actual banner is totally irrelevant to you. If you must have ads go for text ads as they blend better into the content of the site which creates ad blindness.
Website owners need to look more at their competition. If your competitors are coming up top in Google there is a reason for it, it’s down to thier good content which gives them good inbound linking. But you can’t get the inbound linking without good content. This is why content is king and always will be.