Let me clarify, the Yahoo's inlink reporting is also inaccurate, because if a site uses FP shared borders or a dynanic template and they place our link on that template, we wind up on many pages for that domain, and each occurence counts as an inlink. They also show URL's where we don't even exist.
The report also varies wildly, with 5800 links last week and 4500 this week. A hour from now if might be 5300...or 4250...
By "natural" I mean that the vast majority occurred without any effort on my part, through the natural course of being in business on the web. I even found people linking to my home page within a frame to make it look like it was their site. I'm still fighting fires there to get them to remove these, since Yahoo probably considers this dup content.
The number of links is irrelevant. 5700 or 57,000. The bottom line is that I did not pay for a single link and used no blackhat to wind up at that number. By the sound if it, you also seem to think that I am doing something "illegal". I really love the "guilty until proven innocent" treatment.
I do run an affiliate program as part of a membership control system script on my server, so anyone participating (only a few dozen active affiliates) would be inlinking.
I have about 30,000 paid customers, and many have sites that for whatever reason, they place a link on...and it's not even the affiliate link.
I mean really, when someone bookmarks you on del.icio.us that counts as an inlink? 14 people did that on their own. I also get emails on a daily basis of webmasters asking for a link exchange. I no longer participate in link exhanges. When I DID participate (during that time when link exchanging first appeared), I had no more that 100 hand picked PR 3 + sites with which I traded links. I have since shut down ALL link exchnages. I never traded with link farms, but apprently they added my site.
MB, if you'd like, I can PM you the link that Yahoo used to show the "excessive" inlinks.
I guess if a site gets popular, and gets a lot of inlinks, it's a threat to Yahoo's popularity and they penalize they site. The perfect monopoly preserving mechanism.
In the mean time, they continue to index junk.