I have been a bit confused about this question for a while now. Anyways, today I noticed a blog pop up on page one for a couple keywords for a niche I'm in. So I go to examine the blog and see it showing 23 do follow links on ahrefs, maybe high quality tier 1 links ? I look further and it does not appear so, actually all those links look pretty bad, so the other obvious difference I notice is that he has some social signals. Like 400 facebook likes, and a couple hundred Google+ and tweets. I created two different landing pages for these keywords to test when ranking them originally, one I basically just spammed, and the other I did a tier build. Both turned out a bit hit or miss for the keyword selection, however the one thing I did not do for these two were social signals to the extent this guy has. Could this be the difference ?