crobb305 - 2:45 am on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: crobb305 at 2:50 am (utc) on Dec 13, 2012]
I remember the days when domains would soar and then crash if they weren't 'super hot' too, but based on what you're reporting I wonder if there's a shift in weighting of user behavior signals and these domains, rather than ranking on 'spammy link weight', are actually ranking on the behavior of searchers? Interesting question at the least, in my opinion...
I agree. Another interesting characteristic of a few of the sites I am talking about is that some lack useful site navigation. One of the sites has had the homepage ranking top 5 for an extremely competitive phrase for two months now and contains nothing more than 10 affiliate links above the fold, and a long scrollable article. There no links to internal pages (except for a "contact" link). The domain was registered 4 months ago. Furthermore, the internal pages contain no links to each other, only a link back to the homepage. I don't understand what it is about this particular site that makes it "useful" to a visitor (or what metric could define it as such), unless an immediate click to an affiliate link equals visitor satisfied (or if the visitor returns back from the affiliate site only to click on the next affiliate link in the list, and so on).
Very perplexing to say the least.
[edited by: crobb305 at 2:50 am (utc) on Dec 13, 2012]