Planet13 - 6:21 am on Nov 28, 2011 (gmt 0)
Inevitably there are only so many ways to develop links, that some will *always* be patterns
I'm not sure this is a bad thing. In fact, I think too much diversity would be considered unnatural. Actually, I think even a moderate amount of diversity would be unnatural.
Most sites nowadays (unless they are a mega news site of some kind) are going to appeal to a particular demographic. And I think those in that demographic are going to have a preference for a particular linking pattern. Each demographic of link partners is going to have certain linking tendencies.
Some sites have content that is quite topical and less evergreen, so why shouldn't the lion's share of links be from blog posts and comments (and tweets)?
Some sites will appeal primarily to people whose main interaction on the web is through facebook. So why shouldn't those sites have overwhelmingly high amount of facebook likes and mentions?
Some sites are scholarly, and you would expect university professors to link to them, but you wouldn't expect facebook likes or tweets or other links to them. You would probably expect very few links from blog articles to them, since blogs are overwhelmingly topical and those scholarly type posts would be more evergreen in nature.
I bet that if you analyze anchor text, there would be a certain LACK of diversity based on who is doing the linking, too. For example, I bet that professors probably use the exact title of the destination page as anchor text more so than bloggers. The way professor use anchor text is PROBABLY influenced heavily by the way that printed publications use citations.
Bloggers probably would be more likely to use the writer's name / publication's name somewhere in the anchor text, I am guessing. Something that is more headline grabbing rather than formal. In fact, the call to action that is often found in anchor text (such as the words "click here" in the anchor text "click here to view wheel's latest article on link building") would probably vary depending on whether it was written by a professor or a blogger.
I'll bet that "hobbyist" webmasters are more likely to link to sites using the destination site's NAME as the anchor text than other types of webmasters would.
Along those lines, I bet if you compared the linking patterns of blogs to scholar sites, you would notice predictable differences between the position of the link in relation to the surrounding text. I be that a professor would be likely to put the link at the top of bottom of the surrounding text than a blogger would. Conversely, a blogger would be more likely to put the link in the middle of a paragraph rather than as a "stand alone" link at the beginning or end of a paragraph.
Does google have the time to worry about all this? I don't know. I am sure they are certainly CAPABLE of profiling sites and could easily spot a link that stands to far outside the typical linking patterns. I just don't know if they are currently looking at it that way.
Just my two centavos...