Reno - 3:55 pm on May 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
4. The retail store's site is clearly designed for the store. My site is a mix of information, ecommerce, and advertising for other retail stores in the same niche.
I agree with Shatner ~ in this example, the issue may be about the difference in FOCUS. I think the size of the site is only relevant in the sense that your much larger site breaks up the focus, whereas their smaller site stays consistently on target. Bigger is not always better.
So for example, a site with a "few dozen pages" (which is enough for Google to take seriously) is 95% about copper widgets and 5% misc; and a 3000+ page site is 55% about copper widgets and 45% about a bunch of misc other stuff which may or may not be directly related to the core focus of "COPPER widgets": 95 trumps 55.
If I owned the 3000+ site, I'd deep-six all pages that were out of core focus and/or did not justify their inclusion with adequate traffic. Even if it went down to less than 300 pages, as long as it was almost entirely on-focus, it would in all likelihood do better (IMO).