Does Google Penguin Update mean the end of SEO link building?
Q: Hasn't Google been discounting inbound links and even penalizing some sites for having too many links from other sites?
Yes and no. The Penguin update targeted low quality inbound links, and in that sense you are right - high quantity of low quality links are now BAD. This change has bred fear and uncertainty and doubt (FUD) among the SEO community, many of whom have been taking the easy way out for years, building these low quality link schemes (primarily via blog networks). So they got slammed by Penguin.
That said, links still matter a lot. It's high quality, well set up links and links that follow a natural link progression. So in my class on link building, I emphasize legitimate link building tactics, especially press release, that give you good diversity in links.
If you do searches like SEO TRAINING or SEO COURSES or SEO CLASSES, you will generally see my picture and JM-SEO.org on page one. This is largely a function of great on page SEO and good inbound links to the site. So yes links still matter. You just can't be stupid about how to encourage them.
Hope this helps!
- Jason McDonald