I was recently researching (using MajesticSEO and Open Site Explorer) how a particular page could rank at #2 in organic results for a competitive search that shows 3.4m results. It is a page with only 20 backlinks, 18 totally off-topic from the media company that designed the site, plus 2 links from another site done by the same media company, and every link uses the keyword anchor text with no variation whatsoever.
Based on what we think we know about ranking factors and Google Guidelines, this page should be a non-starter yet it is holding down #2 spot in competition with some of the heavy hitters in that industry.
Using the logic that the algo must be seeing something that rewards this page, I did an analysis to see if there were any signals of elevated authority on the root domain and that is where OSE showed Feedburner as a linking root domain, with a domain authority of 98 (out of 100) and over 700,000 linking root domains.
The immediate question that came to mind was if OSE believes that Feedburner creates linking domains, is it possible Google's algo could be doing the same thing and misrepresenting the importance of sites that carry Feedburner?