Whether links are still important for SEO or not, you could argue about that. However, the fact is that they can at least have a positive influence if they do not lead to success alone. But even then, not every link will take you further. Because whether a link has positive effects depends on many different factors. On one hand of course, whether it is a do follow or no follow link, on the other hand also from the website that has set the link. And finally, it’s still important where the link is listed on the page.
There were times when it did not matter where a link was placed. At that time, you simply set up a subpage, calling it “advertising” or “partner” and filling it with links you had exchanged with others. And with this approach you even had success. Unthinkable today, because that would not be perceived positively by search engines. Google & Co. like much better, if links are integrated into the site and can mean an appreciation of the content. And that’s why it’s important to place them in the right places.
After subpages with countless links did not work anymore, there was a new tactic. In order not to touch the actual contents of a website, links to other pages were placed in the footer area. Now you had to limit yourself with the number of links, but Google had voted it again conciliatory. But these times are long gone and now footer links are considered neutral at best, in the worst even devalued. And so it is clear: Links only have a positive affect if they are set out of the content.
For Google, a link is ideal if it offers more value to the topic of the page. And so it is logical for the search engine that the added value is only given if it is also offered directly from the content. For website owners, this means creating relevant content that can be used to package the links. But even then, not every link is equally positive – at which point in the content the link appears and in which text it is embedded plays a role as well as the fact that text links are rated better than image links.
If you want to give a lot of weight to a link, it makes sense to integrate it into the page content – even if that does not always work well or partially collides with other goals of the page.