I figured I would throw this out to BHW with the hopes of getting some answers and insight. I'm at a loss to figure out how this website is ranking for some VERY competitive keywords! Here are the specifics: The $ site is crap. No content, jacked-up url's, no metadata. The root has 25 (count em) backlinks.. most of them indexed 10/2011. No high PR links, no .edu/.gov etc... No real SEO at all really. I looked into those 25 backlinks and this is what I found: About 1/2 of them are domains that are owned by the same guy who owns the $ site. They are JUST URL's that have 301 redirects back to the $ site... no anchor text. The rest of the links come from weird search engines in Ireland and various other countries (gasta dot eu was one of them). So, I started exploring the domains that were being 301 redirected: DOMAIN X has 1,212 backlinks and ZERO indexed in the last 12 months (again, there is NO SITE here... just a parked domain with a 301). Most of this site's backlinks are again, weird no-name search engines (jordanstown dot com). A lot of this site's backlinks are from domains that are not even registered! WTF? DOMAIN Y is another parked domain with a 301. This one has NO backlinks at all. THE BOTTOM LINE: This guy was able to rank a piece of crap, templated website (jacked url's, no content, no metadata) with just a few domains that have been 301'd. Some of those 301's domains have backlinks from weird search engines and some have no backlinks. Some of them AREN'T EVEN REGISTERED! This $ site is ranked for keywords with a TON of competition (SEOC in MS). This guy is one of my client's competitors. My client is wondering why he's paying me for "real SEO" if his competitor can get ranked without spending any money. I don't have a good answer for him! Anyone know what this guy is doing and why it's working? Any help would be awesome. Thanks!