In the past, links were regarded as one of the most powerful ranking factors when it came to improving your search results. Nearly a decade ago when SEO was just starting out, it was important to secure links from sites with high page rank. In the past getting a link was the way Google or other search engines found and indexed sites. Because of this, many companies sold links and were able to easily affect rankings. Due to this easy manipulation of search rankings, Google has been devaluing some link tactics over time. In fact, Google has updated Penguin, the main algorithm affecting links, 6 times.
Although they may not hold the power in search ranking they once did, that is not to say links should be thrown out the window. Securing high-quality links is still beneficial to ranking highly in search results. But these days it is all about quality over quantity. What is most important is building high-quality content, securing links from relevant and authoritative sites, and disavowing or weeding out spam backlinks to your site. In the past, you could get away with using low-quality link building for a short-term gain but today high quality is most important.
Make sure you are constantly monitoring links to your site. Keeping track of the good links and weeding out the bad links. Google takes user engagement into consideration with its updated algorithm, so make sure your links are contextually relevant and provide value to the users. Also, make sure to remove any spammy links that could cause penalties to your site, through disavowing them in Googles Search Console.
Google is constantly changing their ranking algorithms and take hundreds of factors into account. Although the link may have been one of the most powerful factors in improving your search results in the past, times have changed. It is now important to always focus on quality over quantity to reap the best benefits from your links.