Linking to people you know is a fundamental aspect of what I try to convey in my classes. Even Linkedin suggests this:
“Only invite people you know well and who know you.“
If you always link to those you have vetted or want to know better and you are comfortable to be seen with in the electronic public (not mutually exclusive), then you will be linked to a great entourage.
But linking is not a single act then relegated to a passive presumption. To be referred and respected, you have to nurture those relationships, constantly and as equally as possible.
Even at the minimum if it’s a brief “how ya doin’?”
Keep the chain strong and it will enliven your best collaborations.
Don’t let this happen to you (see the big picture).