Took a trip down the memory lane this morning: found an old file saved from Analytics back in 2009 (just before I stopped using it) that contained the list of 500 KWs that brought most traffic back then.
What a depressing picture! I do realize that this was all before the animal updates and all, but it's just an illustration of what an uphill battle this it: I got down to #25 and found not a single one better than at page 10, and most are simply gone!
Those that I can still find are clobbered by host crowding (wasn't that supposed to be fixed by now?) and utter junk, including non-working pages and even whole expired domains. There are some good pages on Page 1 that I understand how they rank better, but move beyond Page 1 and it's just a trash bin of Internet. It looks like G has completely given up on quality control of anything that's off the Page 1, perhaps because so few people go there.
But anyway, this is not just a rant, there was a question in there somewhere (...pausing to collect his thoughts...) I was just wondering if anyone thinks it's a good idea to start working reconsideration request angle if you find yourself ranking below expired domains? I mean, is there a particular algorithmic advantage that a page from an expired domain may have over an actual working page on my site if my site does not have some sort of a "manual action", whatever that is, taken against it?
So, can you use old KWs data under assumption that the content that was deemed worthy to rank for the KW is still there and still relevant, to draw a conclusion that there's some underlying issue with the site as a whole that can (potentially) be addressed by sending an RR? Can you be ranking at pages 10+, lower than junk, if you're simply, say, lacking backlinks or some other aspect of normal site development is lacking?
By the way, I'm not certain at this point what sin to confess to, so this RR idea may be a moot point until I dig up some dirt on my own. So, I guess, a different way to sum up my ramblings from above is this: "are there non-RR-worthy site development issues that can make you rank so low if you still have the same content, still relevant to the same KWs"?
Thanks for your input!