webboy1 - 1:33 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
@5503landis - This does sound impressive. There was another thread running the other day discussing why some sites seem to rank highly when they don't appear to practice the full range of traditional seo techniques. It was an interesting thread.
This sounds similar. One thing I would ask though is, rather than them ranking highly just because of links, is it possible that there is a "best of bad bunch" factor? You've mentioned 6 of the 10 sites on page 1 follow similar strategy. If nobody else is covering meta info, h-tags, good fresh content etc, then surely it can be ruled out as a competitive factor?
I guess what I'm getting at is, what would happen if one of the other 6 sites started practicing what could be refered to as traditional SEO techniques? Would they climb to number 1?
I should add that this really isn't meant to be negative at all, because I also see regular strange ranking similar to what you describe. Just adding my bit to the discussion.