Yeah well, "run of the site" could mean anything from 50 links to 50.000 links.
From on topic ( same theme ) to completely off topic to forums to spam.
From authorities ( high trust, highly relevant ), to just everyday sites to low PR/virtually unknown ones downright to pages not even indexed.
From an unindexed, unrecognized footer link to a prominent place in the navigation.
Could be a legit part contributing to a HUGE and well developed, diverse, healthy linking profile, or cause a fatal penalty in a stupid attempt to kickstart a brand new domain.
If at any given point in the life cycle of a website...
- more than 40-49% of its backlinks are same anchor text
- from pages that are crawled and indexed of course
- if will most likely fall.
If a site gets a lot of links with a competitive phrase from off-topic irrelevant pages...
- in case these links carry more weight ( PR/trust/(ir)relevancy ) than the rest of the linking profile
- or these links basically outnumber anything else in the linking profile
- the site will go down, and won't stop until -950
If you see links pointing to it in Yahoo! or with whatever you check them...
- make sure to check if those pages are actually indexed by Google
- see if they rank for what they target
- if so, see if they rank for what the outbound links target
- if the asnwer to either of the first two is NO... the page doesn't carry too much weight.
- if the answer to the third is NO...
- rest assured these links have nothing to do with that sire ranking well.
If you found the links, and you're 51% positive about it that those are the few that really did break the ice for someone else...
- they could have been bought
- they could have been barteled
- could be that they're good friends
- could be that the site is theirs
- could be they entered some kind of media partnership
- could be an advertisement ( not an intentionally bought link )
- could be a completely legit admiration
- user friendly link, on topic, to help visitors
if indexed, do they count?
Yes, sometimes as the final blow, sometimes as a contribution to ranking well.
I definitely don't see them pass n times the trust, mind you.
That I meant parameter-wise.
From the perspective of users' trust ( the feeling ), if it's an obvious partnership it's not only OK... it's *the* thing to do.
If you want to have what the others are having...
Get the same or better for your site as well.
If you thought about complaining, well... don't.
Contact the websites and ask, right?