Ken_b, I have remote access to servers in other parts of the country, so I can check search results there.
Tedster, it does seem like everything is almost purely a guess right now.
I do know that I'm getting new backlinks, although it's not usually by me trying. It's people linking to my site through forums or blogs on their own. Maybe the little site in the #1 spot is getting links faster.
Here's another instance that illustrates the unusual search results:
One of my pages was ranking anywhere from #3 to #7 for a particular phrase. It's now at #9 Above it in the #1 spot is the manufacturer, and in the #2 to #4 spots are big, well-known online stores that sell this product.
In the #6-#8 spots are the usual "about" sites, wiki, and a YouTube video. In the #5 spot, though, is a site that every indicator shows gets very little traffic. The site sells the product. However, right on the home page of the site, the owner says that he and his wife are retired and traveling the country all the time in their RV, so they can't always return phone calls right away. They also say that is means that they can only ship on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Everything about this site screams "hobby." I can't imagine that anyone buys from it.
What's it doing at #5?