One of my competitors is pretty much #1 for any keyword I enter (1st page if not #1 result) and he's got about 500 backlinks COMPLETELY irrelevant, we're in the video game niche and there isn't a single link pointing to his site that is related to gaming IN ANY way.
The sites that link to him are about traffic security, ebola, truck driving, health, sports, movies, spirituality, religion, science, online dating, politics, celebrities and other ALL random stuff. It's like he's connected to the whole f**king universe of content.
Why are those links ranking him so well when the content is the most irrelevant one I've ever seen in my life?
EDIT: After further research I've learned that he's on-page SEO is nothing like what people recommend to avoid today, 1/3 of his text is bolded, or underscored, on each post, anchor links are EVERYWHERE, granted he has A LOT of content, really, by post, content is there but it also seems like he is using the same template for each post, and only replacing the keywords and important factors of the game...duplicate content much?
Someone please elaborate, clearly I'm not aware of some big SEO factor which makes backlinks unimportant at all.