I rank in the top 4 for "widgets" and for "wid gets" I'm well and truly outside the top 100. All my major competitors are able to rank on the first page of results for both. I have not been able to figure out whether it's an over-optimization problem or due to a lack of backlinks with that particular anchor text.
yeah, I have the same issue as you and can't figure out why and see that I have the exact keyword in my domain name too...I really don't understand what is wrong.. maybe google needs more time to rank me... but 3 months is already a long time...
I'm wondering if it's the case that you either target one or the other and not both - then you'll rank naturally for both? Looking at the first page of serp results for "wid gets", in 8/10 of the pages, there is no occurrence of the keyword "wid gets". The 2 remaining sites have it in their title tags and in body text but interestingly, do not rank well for "widgets".
I used to be over optimized for "widgets". I created a backlink with that anchor text and reduced the occurence of the keyword on the page. That seemed to do the trick - within a week, my page turned up.
However, "wid gets" occurs only once on my HP in some introductory text and another 3 times in the code. I'm thinking I should bring my site in line with the others and delete it outright and at the same time build a backlink with that anchor text.