So I started doing some whitehat SEO for a friend of mine and it's not turning out how I expected. I've just been doing free linkbuilding, such as Web 2.0s, bookmarks, forum profiles, and articles. Each has a lot of content, is unique, and all the like, but I'm just not seeing results. So my question is, are free linkbuilding techniques still effective? It seems that all the threads in the BST these days are for high PR backlinks (usually rented) or posts on relevant blogs. I remember a time when you could just do linkbuilding with free methods, but it doesn't seem as effective anymore. Can anyone shed light on this? Do we have to spend money on high PR backlinks now to rank in the search engines?