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IMO, the main differences between search engines lies in weighting factors on anchor text (internal/exteranal), title and heading proximity/density, surrounding text and the refinement of weeding out spam.
But a site with say a dmoz listing, a Yahoo listing and some other baclklinks is in my experience absolutely competitive compared to a site with hundreds of backlinks from all over the web.
joined:Oct 23, 2000
Heini says it; the little guys with a low number of quality links and good optimisation can do just as well as the big guys. On page stuff is important. That's probably why there's a lot of questions like "I'm ranking #1 in Google, but nowhere to be found in FAST".
Well maybe the few high PR guestbook links isen't working for you in FAST ;)