Personally I do not spend any time whatsoever on off-site ranking factors. I work on business web sites, normal stuff not meant to get anybody rich quick but intended to get a market share of the qualified traffic available from keywords and keyword phrase searches specific to the products or services that ther normal business web site offers.
From years of experience in "white hat SEO", in order to highly position web pages, a business Internet marketing strategy usually needs a combination of three components:
- a general web site that is easy to navigate and well-optimized (highly crafted content, good internal linking structure, optimized tags and attributes, logically named images and web pages ...)
- a somewhat separate evolving corporate blog
- an ongoing social media campaign
These three components are integrated, cross referencing each using anchor links (textual links), they share the same look and feel, have the same logos etc. This is itself is sufficient in appeasing the search engine and the best part is thatr it is all fully in my control. It is difficult to base on SEO strategy on things that are beyond my control. The key to good SEO is to build from scratch and then keep it updated with fresh content. If other web site designers chose to link to my stuff that's great but unlikely. Often I read how "related" or "relevant" links are the best type of backlinks to acquire. Sure, that makes sense but if I have a service ...