A few days later it plummeted in ranking.
The site went from 40 new visitors daily from Google to ZERO. (it is not a huge niche)
Whilst I worked out why this happened by myself, I hadn't seen much commenting about it. I happened across this post today that relates about the problem.
Nova Blog » A Back Road Loophole For Getting into Google?:
And this is especially true if you’ve got a brand new site. New sites that have been crawled by the Googlebot are sometimes given a decent ranking in Google for a few days before they plunge to the depths of Neverworld.
What a TEASE that Google is!
The unknowing webmaster thinks they’ve hit paydirt with an almost instantaneous top 20-30 listing. Then one day - POOF - their site is gone as fast as it arrived.
Now the webmaster has to prove that the site has staying power by getting links from other sites within its niche. Not just any links. Links from sites with a decent PageRank would really do the trick. Getting listed in the infamous Yahoo! or Open Directory would be even better.
Now the way I look at it, when Google visits your site for the first time, they give you the benefit of the doubt and rank your site purely on the content of the page. They also schedule a 2nd visit, and add your site to some form of site analysis. When the results of that analysis come in, you get a true listing.
Obviously I am now working on a revised version of my site that will have a lot more content and linking to relevant sites of further research.
One important note: My linking strategy is based on links within my content, rather than a "links" page. Thus all outgoing links will be highly relevant.
Once it is in place, I am hoping to attract some similar linking from portal sites. There are very few sites within my niche that have a high enough GR to justify a lot of time in acquiring links.
If I had link management tools, I would probably use them as an addition to this strategy, and I will discuss such tools sometime in the furute.
As promised, I am reporting my failures as well as success.