hi doodled, thanks for taking the time to comment. No ive no messages re unnatural links and have / would never be involved in link farms and the like. In fact its probably years since i last did a link exchange with anyone. I have been nervous about links for many years :-) Im totally with you in what you said now.
I understand the best link you can get is from a high PR site ideally in the same industry, but i think most businesses struggle with this as its often their competitors, and a high PR site might not want to help its competiton up the ladder, or fear of damaging its own PR.
Our site probably has less than 20 links pointing at it, and i doubt any are from link exchange programmes. The domain has been inherited and recently rebuilt. It has previous had hosting for maybe 3 years of which the last year or so it has just been a holding page. The new site was launched nearly month ago, I kind of expected to see a big bang in the rankings, but nothing yet. It has been indexed and crawled. So as its not a brande domain and has had hosting, im looking at any potential problems, such as these 20 links. The links are from a couple of directories and some small websites, nothing spammy, nothing link farmy, but im wondering if they are seen as low quality sites by google, even though they dont appear to be. If i could be sure they were low quality i could disavow or get the links removed, but i dont want to do that if the sites arent low quality and the links might help us. Our site only has 2 outlinks both using rel nofollow. Hence i'd love to know how to decide what a low quality site is, in the same way google does.