Everyone talks about natural linking, link bait etc. I think our page is an example of natural not being able to beat unnatural.

1. I know my competitor personally and I know he has used dodgy blogs, directories etc to create his links with targeted anchor text. Has virtually no inbound links that are natural and from quality sources.
2. Our page has numerous inbound links that are from the exact topic we are working with from within the industry, that were placed by these other websites with no input from us.
3. Our page has so many links from discussions on forums, naturally placed on topic.

The issue I believe with genuine, natural links is the anchor text is not targeted. There is no reason for the user to use keywords from the topic. It's simply not natural. They will use things like "click here" or "more info" or our company name.

I'd rather not post the page on the forum, but if anyone has an interest they can PM and I'll supply it.

I find it frustrating that we are on the second page for this phrase to websites using these techniques which are supposed to not work.