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[edited by: tedster at 5:50 pm (utc) on Dec 9, 2012]
I remember the days when domains would soar and then crash if they weren't 'super hot' too, but based on what you're reporting I wonder if there's a shift in weighting of user behavior signals and these domains, rather than ranking on 'spammy link weight', are actually ranking on the behavior of searchers? Interesting question at the least, in my opinion...
[edited by: crobb305 at 2:50 am (utc) on Dec 13, 2012]
I don't understand what it is about the site that makes it "useful" to a visitor (or what metric could define it as such), unless an immediate click to an affiliate link equals visitor satisfied (or if the visitor returns back from the affiliate site only to click on the next affiliate link in the list, and so on).
[edited by: TheMadScientist at 2:54 am (utc) on Dec 13, 2012]
But in the case you're talking about, to Google, the visitor 'disappeared' and did not return to the results, which would almost have to be interpreted as 'visitor satisfied' by an algo, even if it doesn't make complete sense to us...
...unless an immediate click to an affiliate link equals visitor satisfied (or if the visitor returns back from the affiliate site only to click on the next affiliate link in the list, and so on).
The bounce rate of this page is 70%+
The site has GA as well as Statcounter and the Statcounter shows exactly what crob305 described: The visitor would land on the page, click on the first link to the square widget manufacturer, then clicked back to the page, then clicked to the second link of the second square widget manufacturer and so on.
So the perceived time on the page would be high, but so would also be a bounce rate.