The majority of soft inquiries are ignored by the FICO scoring models. The majority of these inquiries are not initiated by you, but rather by those rabid credit card companies that bombard your mailbox with unsolicited, preapproved credit cards. Prior to credit card companies being allowed this type of advertising, soft inquiries would count, but now they are not considered as legitimate marks against your credit.
The hard inquiries are looked at in more detail. Most experts say that in order to keep the number of hard inquiries down, once you apply for a mortgage do not apply for any other loans or credit cards until after you take possession of the house.