Matt Cutts has recently confirmed that Google once tried to bring people search results without any form of links whatsoever, and it turns out that the results were not as good for the searcher as they are with them. So it looks like backlinks are here to stay for a while at least.
But this is not such a bad thing, backlinks are needed yes, but as long as they add value to the site they are pointing at. If you sell makeup and have several backlinks on a DIY blog, then something bad is going on. But if you have links from a beauty blogger then that is OK! What we are saying is don’t buy links, earn them!