I got this idea a couple of days ago, when presented with an awesome example of how important relevant content related links are to Inktomi. This goes into what I have noticed as the Low-Value / High Value Content factor that can easily be created from linking certain types of sites together. Without divulging the sites themselves, I will try to explain.
One idea, is that in order to create what Inktomi would consider High Value Content (thus higher rankings) one would have to obtain links from sources that are themselves considered High Value in terms of content. I have believed this for some time, and it does hold true in Google and in Inktomi. However, based on some recent findings, it appears that you can create High Value content based solely on who links to your in the first place (their on page factors) and how closely related it is to your site. The link popularity of the site seems to have little to do with it as well, just the quality matters (their on page factors). One link can be better than 500 links having no related value to the page.
For example, if you are promoting gift baskets in California, and you create another site of similar nature promoting gift baskets in San Diego. Take into account that these sites have similar titles and metas. You can link these two sites together, and in doing so Inktomi takes into account the link from site 1 to site 2. While site 1 doesn't have to do well in Inktomi, it however can do well in Google (top 10 rankings). That is how Google fits into the picture. While the Google and Inktomi Algo are not the same they do have many similarities, and if a link comes from a page that is well optimized and relates very specifically to the page it is linking to. Its bonus points in Inktomi, and through the examples I have seen will rank in the top 10 for what phrase that is being targeted by site 2 or even by site 1. Kinda interesting, so I will be testing and checking into this a lot more. I will let you know what I find. While I know some of this may or not make sense, I am throwing out ideas to help myself formulate a theory that might work to explain it better. Link experts, let me know if I am on the right path or not. :-)