After the recent 14th of Oct SERPs shake-up that is commonly considered here as another Panda round, I noticed a very new site that broke into the top positions in the niche I am monitoring. Somehow it managed to take over #1-#3 spots for a few mid-competitive commercial searches. It is still there.
I know this niche pretty well, and can estimate that the achieved rankings allow the Site to pull about $30,000 - $50,000 in monthly sales, and the keywords though not hysterically popular, have enough competition to make this rankings a serious challenge.
What's interesting is that the backlinks analysis for the site above reveals sitewide links and blogposts bought on many hundreds of horrible spammy domains. When I say horrible - I am talking about .info sites that feature links to the Site along other sold links pointing to casinos, insurance sites, debt consolidation and even #*$! enlargement.
Moreover, it looks like these are the ONLY backlinks that Site has. I said to myself - "well, google must be ignoring these links" and I spent a lot of time with Yahoo Explorer, Open Site Explorer and Majestic, to find that hidden powerful link that gives the Site its superb rankings. I couldn't find any.
I am wondering, what the hell is going on with the Google's paid links detection algo? Or with the backlink relevancy factor, that factor alone should be enough to send the Site far down where it deserves to be?
Frustrating ... Or it may be just that all the rest were pandalyzed, and that's what we are left with now - the High Quality ...