Surely it will?
Why not take the opportunity to sprinkle some bookmarks, text links etc. to appropriate hubs/authorities etc.
I would toolman, just make sure that web design shows up in the anchor text.
There becomes a fine line between themes and promotion. With a service such as web design or a product like a log analyzer, I would err on the side of self promotion. If you wanted to focus on a themed site, create a seperate one for your business and stick strickly with the themes in linking and promotion. To put your name on something you create is as good as it gets for selling your services.
My 2 cents...
<added>For you techies, I wonder if it were possible to attach a link from your page to a pop-up with a link from there to your site. May be too many clicks and some folks hate pop ups. I just wonder if this wouldn't be a buffer to diluted themes while still directing folks to you. Just a thought. Now everyone, bring on all the reasons why this wouldn't work :)
>>>>Now everyone, bring on all the reasons why this wouldn't work
Hang on while I fire up my flamethrower :)
I'll cast my vote for a direct link, albeit one that includes relevant text. I think a solid number of text links that say "web design" or whatever your keywords are will offset the potential theme dilution caused by, say, a clothing site, linking to you. Besides, you might actually get some business if people like your work on the linked sites.
How are you going to get the client to accept the link in the first place? Most of the ones I deal with, don't want it.
Usually a link from the About page is all you can wrangle out of them.
That said, ALWAYS put your name in a comment tag on the root of the site with your url.
You are certainly right about most sites, Brett. If I hired a firm to design a site for me, I wouldn't let them advertise all over my site. However, some small company sites seem to be OK with an inconspicuous link in the bottom border on every page. I'd go so far as to put this in the contract, particularly if the client was squeezing me on the price. Under those circumstances, we will sometimes stipulate in our agreement that the client will let us use him as a reference, too. Quid pro quo.
"Will this help your link pop?"
Yes, it can help a great deal. I've got a site in the top 10 at google for an extremely competitive phrase. The actual page ranked doesn't even include the search phrase in the text, But there about 1600 pages pointing to it with the keyphrase in the link text.
"How are you going to get the client to accept the link in the first place?"
We don't seem to have a problem with this, 99% of our clients let us include our link with no questions asked.
It's quite common here in Italy to put a link at the bottom of the first page.
I even have customers accepting small banners in their news pages. They see the advertisement on the "big ones" and they think that this way their sites look "more professional".