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a) keep under 75 links to a page.
b) make sure to use a keyword in your link text.
c) have at least 60-75% of the page text outside of links. (gotta be some text on the page. I'm not sure of the denisty or ratio, but atleast 60% has to be nonlink text)
d) keep the page under 40k.
I think that subdomains DO count towards the link pop of the main domain. I think inner site linking is also highly critical to generate "relavance" for a page. A page with few insite links and high inbound links is not going to do as well as a page with high inner site linkages and just a few inbound links. Those insite links from both the same domain and subdomain are critical for a pages performance in both Ink and Google. The verdict is still out on alta, but I think it is a pure numbers game over there.
Theses sites also contain a navigation structure that uses a footer with all are targeted phrases included in hyperlinks. If a particular subdomain has 50 pages, then each page ends up having 49 internal pages linking to it with a hyperlink containing the targeted phrase.