Our positions this morning broadly the same as when I posted yesterday. No appreciable change overnight between 13/10/2011 and 14/10/2011.
UK site. UK Google SERPs.
* All sites currently outranking us have fewer pages than us.
* All have less and thinner content. Fewer inbound links.
* Several are equally or more heavily optimised (traditional on-page elements and internal linking) compared to our site.
* Some less optimised (traditional on-page elements and internal linking).
* One competitor now outranking us uses Wordpress as CMS for large section of his site (news/articles section).
Apart from more meticulous housekeeping than usual and some basic tweaks, I am pretty baffled about what substantial steps I can take to fix this.
I'm combining and concatenating the content of text-light pages resulting in fewer, but more substantial pages (301 the pages from which I'm taking the text to the expanded pages). Also revisiting titles and descriptions to make sure they are the best they can be. Removing many pages from robots.txt and blocking with robots meta instead (or simply allowing access. Also revisiting rel canonical which could be a better approach for some of our pages than noindex.
Just routine, ongoing improvement. Until things settle for more than a couple of days I'm still wary of jumping to conclusions and taking action based on observations of a situation in flux.
The experiences of people here are very informative, but just go to show that experiences vary so much that I really need to be able to judge from what I see affecting my own sites rather than assuming that other people's fixes, such as they are, will have the same effect for me.
Still not enjoying myself yet...