Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 220.127.116.11
Over the next week, there was no real activity in the search results until one night the domain jumped from the teens to the top 3 in one night. This is very competitive niche of the web, and I have never seen any website move like this before.
My question: Has anyone had any experience passing "linkjuice" and PR from one domain to another using a 301 redirect? This is the only explanation I can come up with at the moment.
This leads me to believe it is perfectly okay to buy your competitors websites and 301 them into yourself; just make sure they are on-topic.
I've mentioned to many people how hard it can be to discover 301 redirects when you are researching your competitor's rankings. Many ranking "mysteries" have their roots here.