aakk9999 - 10:22 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)
...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).
I have the same observation. I am looking after a site that sells circle and diamond widgets only, in certain geographical area. The site has decided to create a page on square widgets, reviewing the square widgets in the same geographical area. The page contained 15 different square widgets with photo, main features and dofollow link to the square widget manufacturer (there is only one of these for each square widget). On the top of the page was intro saying the site does not sell square widgets, but provides info in order to have a complete widget offer in the target geo area.
After creating the page, it initially ranked at the bottom of the second page for the keyword square widgets geo-area. Then over the course of the next 6 months it started to climb, ending at #1 and holds this position for the last 2 years. The bounce rate of this page is 70%+
The site has GA as well as Statcounter and the Statcounter shows exactly what crob305 described: The visitor would land on the page, click on the first link to the square widget manufacturer, then clicked back to the page, then clicked to the second link of the second square widget manufacturer and so on.
So the perceived time on the page would be high, but so would also be a bounce rate.
No links were built to the page and there is only limited internal linking. Over the last 2-3 years the page gained some natural links from forums and similar, these are all with URL as anchor text.
So for a long time I have suspected that the visitor behaviour was the main factor on why the page climbed up and why it is still holding #1.
I have to add that the page has a good title and good meta description that invite clicks.