I am somewhat puzzled by Google, aren't we all at some point?
To give you an idea of the setup, the websites are probably best described as similar to DeviantArt.
One of my competitors is receiving a massive 250,000 visits per day from Google, vs our 25,000. That in itself is kind of depressing.
I have a feeling something is fundamentally wrong, I'll go in to that in a moment.
We have 12million indexed pages, vs their 280,000. They have as many pages, but for whatever reason, Google doesn't index as many of theirs. They don't use no index or robots.txt to prevent indexation of pages. Considering we have a massive amount more pages indexed, I'd figure we'd get more traffic.
Another competitor, who buys about 1,000 new links per day, has 20million pages indexed and is receiving 650,000 visitors a day!
Anyway, back to the site in question, they have about 20% more links than we do, but IMO, we have higher quality links.
A little irrelevant but our domain is PR5, vs their PR4.
They have FAR more ads than we do. Actually, we have a max of one per page. They have closer to 10.
Here are a few theories, as to what could be holding us back.
1. We use a CMS that was originally a forum, but it's been massively developed to become so much more. However in the code, there are a significant number of references to the forum software. Could this be leading Google to believe all of my pages are forum pages?
2. In a bid to aid user experience, each page has a sentence of dynamic text, describing the content on the page. There are a handful of php variables, relevant to the page and content. Whereas the competitor(s) don't bother with any text. Is this text actually harming the pages?
Any other ideas? It's quite depressing. Especially as we spend our time building the best possible site, whereas our competitor does very little, other than buy wads of links. Their website is disgusting and spammy.