I have an eCommerce site in a decently targeted niche. Most of my competitors have good domain age, as well as strong back-link campaigning. I have managed to get my site up to #1 for my keyword in quotes IE: "keyword", and 6 without the quotes. This keyword gets 16,700,000 results when not in quotes; and 22,700 with quotes. I am hoping those wiser than myself will be able to shed some light on what this means. My main question is... If i am ranking #1 with this keyword in quotes, does that fact tell me that my competitors chose not to target the keyword? It is not a long tail keyword, as it only contains 2 words, and these 2 words directly explain what my, and my competitors do. Having the above thought in my head, I used market samurai to dissect what keywords my competitors were targeting, and I found something rather surprising. Most of them had many back links containing a variety of different keywords related to the niche as anchor text, but i did not notice any certain keywords being used as the majority. All of this leads to me asking: Were my competitors once targeting single keywords like myself, and over time they acquired a good spread for the niche? Or is the better idea (and what they might have done), to build a strong amount of keyword-varying anchor text links, all relating to a main keyword? I am sorry if I was unclear, or if i overwrote; and possible bored you to death. I am just having a tough time gathering my thoughts on how keyword strategy seems to all intertwine. Please let me know if you have any thoughts or answers based on experience, or any other substance.