Ok, I own a site selling widgets, my competition does too. Both use a PHP shopping cart system (OSC).
When you type in google the brand name "Ywiggy Ywidget" my competition comes up #5 while I come up #9.
My site has been open for business online for 3 months-the competiton been open for a year. For this certain brand "Ywiggy Ywidget" I sell 12 different styles of that brand, while the competiton sells only 2. and the competition just began carrying this brand about one month ago. The competiton has about 4 linkbacks (link: www.competiton.com) while I have about 30 linkbacks (yeah, I know-we stink). (OH, PS, In MSN Search the comp is #2, I am #6)
SO how the heck is this happening? I am new to all this so forgive my ignorance, but here are some variables that may or may not add to the competitions better ranking. The comp has an add on in their site that turns the dynamic URLs into names of product (comp.com/Ywiggy_Ywidget.html) while my pages are totally dynamic (php?...).
Not loosing sleep over this detail, I am just curious. Thanks for reading.
One advantage they may have is that their links are more mature, so you will need to try to get more links so you can catch-up with them, at least in the future.
They may also have a leg-up, with their html cart pages. You should look into getting a similar mod-rewrite or html generation modification.
You didn't mention exactly where you were checking backlinks, but G isn't the best, try Y for a more accurate picture. But the bottom line is get more inbound anchor text links with your keywords. You should be able to catch-up eventually.