slinky101 - 9:14 pm on Feb 16, 2012 (gmt 0)
@crobb305 My site was the same as yours up until 3 days ago. Hadn't been updated in years, nested table's no H1 tags etc Errors all over the place and tiny text. But I was too scared to change anything as the rankings were good.
However, then Google started misplacing the home page periodically, and ranking the forum index and other inner pages instead. But not so well. Anyway I bit the bullet 3 days ago and uploaded new pages.
I kept the titles, urls and link's exactly as they were. However, the page code was clean/validated and I simply copied and pasted the existing written ( slightly changed here and there ) content over and added H1, 2 and 3 tags. Also pulled a few forum topics out to revolve 'live' on the static pages.
Fingers crossed, and mabye it's a 'honeymoon period' but am ranking better already for keywords, and the slightly changed better targeted snippets and phrases. But the important thing is that I didn't instantly tank afterwards like I feared I might. I'm still waiting with baited breath to see if things get shook up for a while. But, nothing yet but improvements so far.
I've been sitting on my hands for so long it's a relief to actually just have done it finally.
On topic while I mentioned perviously that a casual site of mine returned with a vengence on 8th Feb ( after disappearing from Google late Dec )... it entered oblivion-land once again on 14th Feb. Went from positions 3 or 4 first page, to average position 140 something, and about 3 Google referrals a day.. if I'm lucky.