If you are new to SEO or have been working with an "old fashioned" search engine professional you might have been told that good rankings are a result of getting/creating more inbound links.
While this is still a measure and part of Google's ranking factors…the way those links were created a few month ago just aren't working that well anymore!
Search Engine Optimisation has changed and it's important to know what's best practice and what falls in the category of so called "black hat SEO".
If you have been involved in bad SEO techniques in the past, that might actually be the reason why your website does not rank well in searches anymore (if it ever did!).
Sonia Simone has published a great article on bad SEO and how it could eventually even bring down your whole business: Could Bad SEO Bring Down Your Business?