@seo101 link popularity is not always the true "popularity" indicator. Sites can and do link to others for all of the wrong reasons. I get the importance of quality inbound links but if people cannot find your content, they are not going to link to it... however if they find someone who has syndicated your content or in some cases stolen it and is placing well in the search results, chances are sites will be linking to that as opposed to linking to the tru authority or original content creator. Just because your content is good does not mean that others will link to it.
Providing a useful/successful user experience is what it is about. I agree with working on the SEO principles but it still comes back to ensuring a successful site experience for your visitors.