Five years ago, a person could start a website and spam across the whole internet submitting links and he would end up on the first page of the major search engines. In those times, the link game was that of quantity and not quality. Sadly, those times are long gone.
It goes so far as to say that if someone tells you that simply getting a lot of backlinks to your website will rank you higher, run in the other direction.
Search engines now have more common sense and can figure out when a certain link building campaign is not natural. And when they do, you get penalized.
So should you really get a lot of links to rank high? The simple answer is NO. Getting a lot of links actually turns into spamming most of the times, something which search engines just do not tolerate. It can also result in buying links from link farms and FFA websites, which are severely looked down upon.
So how should you approach your link building? The simple answer is: Get quality backlinks from authority websites.
It sounds simple enough, but anyone who is experienced in this field would tell you how difficult getting good quality backlinks are. That being said, because authority websites are (mainly) those with a high Page Rank, getting backlinks from them is normally well-worth the hassle.
I have seen websites which have less than 500 backlinks and are ranking higher than websites with over 10,000 links. The reason: The backlinks they do have are coming from authority websites.
My personal preference is to get links from authority websites. This is the reason why my website has a smaller number of inbound links, when compared to other dominant websites in this industry. I am ranking around number 6-9 for very competitive phrases with only one-tenth of the links my competition has.
So if you are getting low quality links in bulk amounts, stop and think what you are doing. First of all, you will most likely be paying a hefty monthly fee to keep the links active. Secondly, if they really are junk quality, you might as well get rid of them, because they will not help you.
I recently came across a website which provides 10,000 for around USD 89 per month. Not a bad deal, until you check where the links are coming from.
So go for quality and not quantity. That is how the big boys are doing it!