The article reads: John said this at the 55:40 mark of the video when a webmaster asked, ?is link building in any way good?? John?s initial response was, ?in general, I?d try to avoid that.? Code: source:http://searchengineland.com/google-try-avoid-link-building-can-harm-good-214861 So he pretty much rehashed what we already knew, to quote a BHW member "thanks for the revelations Snowden, but everyone at BHW already knew that". If you focus on one particular thing instead of a marketing mix, then it probably won't do much for you. I won't disagree with that at all, but in no way is he saying that link building is to be avoided when mixed with other techniques. John is also not saying that Google can determine what is an earned link or paid link, unless they white list editorial links from sites that pay them to be included in the white list, which wouldn't surprise me. The reason I posted this in the Black Hat Room and not The Lounge is I would love people to weigh in on this in regards to links and their experience with any fast ranking techniques used recently. What else are you using if not just focused on links?