fathom - 9:32 am on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)
If I'm the only source of a piece of information that someone searches for, I expect to be #1 for someone searching for it. During my penalty phase I was not. Since October 13 I am again.
At some point you need to invest in someone that might be able to address that question.
Why does Google's SEO page and Wikipedia SEO page beat SEOMoz or SearchEngineLand for SEO?
Clearly SEOMoz or SearchEngineLand are far superior sources for SEO than the other two. Google's page is geared only to Google SEO and not all SEO and Wikipedia isn't overly detailed to any specific version of SEO.
The actual answers only come to light if you review all four domains in massive detail. But that doesn't have anything to do with negative factors to add to the scoring card either.
That's but four domains... you want the answer that requires hundreds of domains to be investigated and for thousands of queries to be investigated and if I may... if all of the other websites have a single link for the query anchored... that could be the reason you dipped out on them.
You don't have a massive amount of value for such queries... thus the difference between "YOU" and them is "TOO GRANULAR" for Google to seriously consider you an authority on such topics.
Lack of quality for all domains suggest behavioral activity is possibly the deciding factor. Say, when you ranked #1 and you had a 100% bounce rate (because you lacked quality) why would Google think things have changed when you haven't?
Seriously, if you don't have any plans to build quality in those circles why do you deserve results?
Your answer "because everyone else is marginally worse" ... isn't really good enough to suggest you are a HIGH QUALITY DOMAIN to rise to the top IMHO which is what Google denotes is the purpose of PENGUIN... so OK the date ties in and for those queries you aren't HIGH QUALITY.
I'll concede... you're devalued by PENGUIN but you have no plans to increase your value either...
For everyone else... that is the answer right there... if you have no plans to add value to your current domain to become a HIGH QUALITY domain - why would you expect Google to treat you like a HIGH QUALITY WEBSITE?
...you're focused on the wrong side of the argument. It likely isn't "when will Google believe I am a high quality website?"... It's likely, "when will you show Google you have indeed become one!"