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What's more, google seems to somehow "dampen" certain commercial sectors/sites.
I never had a problem getting a site to rank for google (I have many non-commercial sites that have been top 5 for 4+ years in very competitive sectors). yet our one commercial site (w/shopping cart, etc.) that is about 2 years old is still only "creeping up" the google serps, despite doing all the usual things I've done with all my other top-ranked sites (i.e. dmoz listing, over 200 incoming on-topic links, 100+ on-topic articles,, etc.).
I can think of no rhyme of reason why googel would ignore the site and Yahoo loves it, other than there is some mysterious thing in the google algo keeping it down.
How do those animals look like
In a popular area of the gambling sector, nearly all of the top sites are blog spammers: 2-month-old domains hosted in China which have managed to acquire 9,000 - 190,000 backlinks (yes, that # is correct) in those 2 months, all from spamming blogs. They also usually employ redirects and do major keyword stuffing as well. I've reported a few to Yahoo in the past, but they never do anything. Seems Yahoo likes blog spam and are happy with the results. MSN is almost as bad, but not quite the disaster that Yahoo has become.
Oh yeah, if it works in the gambling sector, which is very competitive, it probably works anywhere. . .