Are download sites effective for google page rank? A competitor is listed on first page of Google for a certain short-tailed key word phrase for which my company does not rank at all(not on first 15 pages!). I rank very high for several long-tailed key word phrases. They dont use any type of Google ads. They are listed on numerous download sites, some of which simply link back to the vendor for the download. I have a few of those, but none of the direct download sites like cnet and tucows. The only other external link of value the competitor has is one Q&A at answers.yahoo.com. They also have a youtube vido. Do these links explain why they rank so high? Their page content, meta tags, etc dont seem any better than what I have. I did a tremendous amount of SEO research and redesigned my website for SEO and that resulted in the good ranks for long-tailed keywords. There are several competitors in this field and two use Adwords, but not this particular competitor.
Download sites do rank. I achieved 1 page ranking some years ago with nothing more than download sites backlinks. I still have that ranking many years after. From memory, cnet does not offer a backlink, so its not important for pagerank