Here's something that has brothered me for quite some time with SE placement. I have a site online since 1999 which has excellent placement. Top 5 on msn, google, and yahoo under a highly sought after keyword. I have not updated the page in over a year. i believe it has alot of code that traditionally doesn't help it's placement but, like I said, great placement.
I have other site which almost an exact copy under a different name, same lousy code which has been online for almost 1 year, and placement is horrible under another prime keyword.
Is is safe to assume that because the first site has been online for so long, the link popularity is what is helping this unaltered site, while the new one is too new to matter much?
The whole SEO realm always boggles my mind. I have no idea if I really believe all the suggestions for placement when site one is where it is.
Do I alter site one's code to get it all validated or don't look a gift horse in the mouth and rework site two?