Planet13 - 4:44 am on Jan 11, 2012 (gmt 0)
Could mean the barrier to entry is low. Saw something similar in a far more competitive niche a few years ago that... was a cesspool. I built up better links for my client and bested all of them.
You know what? You're right about that.
My site moved up from nowhere to the mid-twenties, then up to #7 ~ #9 based on just fundamental on-page SEO and a handful of links I got link begging.
I also did a survey around the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 (when emotions were pretty high) and contacted a few bloggers and tweeters who had some followers and asked them to encourage their readers to participate in the survey.
And here's the thing: Most of the links I built were to the home page (or other pages that had a decent amount of naturally occurring links and FB Likes) instead of the target page, and none of the (external) links I got had exact match anchor text for my desired keywords*.
So maybe the fact that I gained a lot of positions based on relatively minor (and non-optimized) link building does mean that the keyword has a low barrier to entry.
*Note: The external links I got mostly had the domain name or the company name as anchor text. However, I did change the anchor text of INTERNAL links to match the keywords for which I was trying to rank. So my internal links were quite well optimized.