I'm fairly new to SEO and although I've read many articles on the topic I still don't have a clear idea of how to get my client's website get to the first page of Google Search.
I run MOZ competitor analysis and see that a competitor that comes up at the top of Google Search has approximately same Domain Authority, Domain Moz Rank and Trust. They have 8 External Linking Root Domains while my client's site has five. Yet the competitor comes up as one of the top sites on the first page, and my client's side is on page #3.
Then I noticed one drastic difference in competitor's ranking and that is Total Links. He has 1,388! I don't understand how this could be a positive factor in Search Engine ranking and how can they legitimately have 1,388 links (while only 14 of those are external).
Another competitor who is #2 in search engine rankings has 773 links total with only 14 external links.
It seems fishy, but yet there they are - at the top of the search engine results. Is that some current way to trick Search Engines? What to do if I'd like to get my client's website onto the first page by some legitimate means?