I think that as Google moves forward, SEO will be more and more focused on the visitor experience and less on what other sites are saying about your site / content. Except for the sites of authority.
Google seems to use a much more contextual analysis, which is quite complicated for a computer / algorithm to understand. However, as the AI becomes smarter, it will no longer need backlinks. Instead, it will look at how often a site / content / person is mentioned and by whom.
This is where it will be very important to have a good presence in various communities and platforms. In addition to having a "following", so to speak. This can be time consuming, but it is also possible to write new content that people will read and recommend to others. Become an authority or "person of interest".
For now, we should make sure that the visitor stays on our sites as long as possible. So avoid a high bounce rate, say at least a minute or two, and several pages on the site. Long enough to make an informed decision on the site.
We need to focus on the speed of loading, the usability for the platform (especially mobile), have a lot of fresh content and quality, have a secure site (and not be associated or associated with sites listed on Google's blacklist) and be well connected to the site. . These are all on-site SEO and user optimization services.
Concentrate on getting and keeping your visitors.