jexx - 8:31 pm on Jul 9, 2010 (gmt 0)
You may have been on thin ice before the redesign and that was enough to put you through. I'm definitely interested in hearing about what you find out.
Is there a pattern here to others where they have also had similar problems in the past, or has this happened to others without the history that this domain would have had with Google?
13 year old site. Using 13 year old code.
flicky, does that mean this was a mainly static site with minimal content changes?...
IF SO, as opposed to Chrispcritters and Atomic:
I recently moved a 10 year old authority site out of a CMS package.
Changed the order of the html code (nav moved from top of HTML to bottom), changed every URL (301'd every page), went extensionless, cleaned every single page's html to be strict (no errors at all), most pages saw changes in title and description, and saw no drop in ranking.
About two years ago I redesigned several of my sites so they were tableless, pure CSS etc. My rankings climbed steadily.
my thinking here is that PERHAPS if both content and code remained the same, or close to the same, for extended periods, the algo would easily be able to detect magnitude of changes through diffs over time... then all of a sudden (even though content remained the same), there's a increase in incremental diffs (algorithmic assumptions here) between old and new pages.
thus, as opposed to Chrispcritters who, assuming that use of a CMS meant that he changed content continually?, your "change" would appear as out of the norm for your 13-year-old-relatively-similar site while other sites with continual changes (code or content) would have a history of incremental changes..
so, in other words.. me thinks it's not about slow or fast pace of changes but the history of what you've done in the past and not diverging from that pattern significantly.