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Also, I think you might have missed the part about creating content that is of value and is shared by users across social media channels. That might satisfy your “authoritative relavent links” argument.
And Google’s latest update is all about this, about culling out the backlinks that can be “faked”, and focusing on the legit ones, the ones that real users post.
ie. social media sharing
And best way to achieve this is well written, valuable content.