The original Google algorithm of the late 1990's and early 2000's didn’t prioritize local intent and geography when ranking websites. In fact, it's really only been in the last 3 or so years that Google has spent considerable time focusing on the local intent of the searcher and as a result has considerably changed the way they look at links and link building for local businesses. For local businesses it’s very important to recognize that it’s not necessarily how many links you have and the quality of those links (like it is for National or International businesses) as much as it is the geographic location and quality of the links.
Less (if geographically relevant) is more.
See full story at http://www.lseo.com/company/seo/5-tips-local-link-building-success/