Website links are still needed, because this is one of the ranking factors used in search engines. In many commercial niches, the battle for the Top 10 is between many thousands of competitors, and getting to a site that isn’t backed up may not be very large, but a high-quality link mass will be very problematic, if not to say that it’s not possible.
Of course, there are exceptions, but they only confirm the rule.
Without internal website optimization, links are absolutely useless and powerless to change anything, because this is no longer the number one ranking factor (most likely, it balances on the verge of the top ten most significant factors).
Out of the whole mass of links available on the market, not more than one-twentieth of them works.
This imposes certain requirements on the selection of donors so that your investments are not in vain.
Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult to promote sites every year, and this fully applies to link building (building a working link mass).
Therefore, you should not look for easy ways, such as the cataloging run mentioned above, exchanging backlinks or buying tons of cheap links in internet at a time, in the hope that the next day you will break Tops for all your search queries.
Everything has become much more complicated, but at the same time more interesting.