diberry - 3:25 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)
I wonder if all posters here have and talk about their eCommerce websites, otherwise there are thousands of other niches where little guys rank even over wikipedia.
My sites are informational. And yes, I have one that performs like you describe, because it hit the front page of Digg back when that meant 300k visitors in a single day, followed by tons of natural inbounds. I have other sites with pages of equal quality and originality, but because their topics didn't generate that kind of social media response or the inbounds that follow, they rank way below the copy cat ehow-type sites that actually credit my site as their source.
What I'm seeing from this is that trumping brands requires a TON of inbounds - the volume of which is extremely hard to build naturally, since nothing delivers 300k visitors in a day anymore. It's fair to say it's nearly impossible for a new/small site to get that kind of traction in the current environment.