goodoldweb - 11:23 pm on Oct 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
I've seen a number of similar cases lately among the many sites we manage.
10-13yrs old websites full with good content going from 1500 viewers per day to almost zilch. And no recovery in sight for almost 2 years now. GWT does not show any manual actions.
What do these sites all have in common? tons of good content but poor old design. Something that would not pass a quick human review unless the reviewer specializes on the topic and can appreciate the actual content (but ignore the poor design). It has been my opinion for quite some time now that the sites simply received a manual penalty and did not pass a human review.... forget the rest.
My advice. Try to work on the site "looks" and try bringing it up to date, then request a manual review.