There are however some common sense principles that I follow which I'll share with you.
Firstly the boring stuff. There's a whole heap of terminology that might be thrown around, reciprocal links, resource linking, links form blogs, signature linking, back links, PR (PageRank), outbound links and more. The whole experience can be overwhelming and stressful when starting out online so I'll try and keep the tech talk to a minimum.
Try and obtaining as many links as you can, but not as the cost of quality. Links coming from more established sites are worth more (so a link from a PR4 page might be worth 8 links from a PR1 page). The page that links to you is important, the more links there are on the page the more diluted the "vote" is from that link, so it's less useful to you.
Having links is one thing, but if they're all from 1999 than your site is probably not going to be favored by the likes of Goolge or other search engines, you need some link-freshness so always be on the hunt for some new links to your site. Updating the site content is another plus, make sure Google knows you're still alive, and still hip enough with updated content on your site. Another important factor is relevancy, and yes Google checks to see what the "theme" of your website is and the "theme" of those linking to you (and the all important anchor text).
If it all gets too much, try and think like a search engine. You want to display the most relevant information at the top of the list, so you look for sites that have other important sites linking to them with information that's relevant, that means content on your website, their website, and anchor tags!
Finally I'll end with some link building tips from Matt Cutts who mentions great ways to get some "natural" links to your site.
- Write something controversial.
- Create lists like top 10 ways to do something.
- Give away something for free like software, ebooks, etc.
- Participate in the community, comment on blog posts, forums, etc.
- Create a resource that’s useful and even if you don’t have enough people linking to that page, it will still feature in the search results.