dickbaker - 6:28 pm on May 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
You theory may enter into the equation, on the basis that the hammer hits the nails sticking up the highest. But just to be clear, have you analyzed some of the other differences? You say the content is similar but presumably you are using different hosting services? Dedicated or shared? What about page speed download times? Backlink profiles? etc etc. We know there are hundreds of factors, so there's more to the picture than just content. And even though that may be the primary, all the other stuff will add up so will inevitably make a difference in the outcome.
I've analyzed just about every difference I can think of. Different hosting services. Mine is VPS, the retail store's is shared. My site beats the retail store's site hands down for download times (although, if Google is only taking into account the first page--the redirect page--that is almost instant download at 2K or so). As I said before, the retail store's site has almost no backlinks; my site has tens of thousands.
I think I've accounted for every factor. The retail store's site is small and doesn't have ads. I can't think of any other reasons why it might still be page one. Actually, I've never been able to figure out how it's stayed on page one for all these years.