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Backlinks are Still Important

The number of backlinks is still the most powerful factor, although link quality is still relevant. Google seems to be is favoring a more natural link structure over perfectly keyword-optimized links.

The study did note that because Google is trying to make Google+ an important player SEOs would be wise to keep an eye on it’s progression
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Russell Matson's profile photo
 
I think thats mostly true that social shares are more important than keywords as long as you aren't keyword stuffing and generating a penalty for your sites.  If you are under a penalty then fixing the penalty is probably the most important thing.
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