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Those pages of notepad-coded HTML have basically sat there, untouched. I stuck Adsense ads on them at some point, but beyond that I haven't done any link requests, added any new content, updated anything. They've just sat there.
Taking a look recently, I find that some of the pages are ranking very well for some reasonably valuable search terms. Without getting into specifics eCPM for these pages knocks any of the other pages I run out of the water. It's a niche site so we're not talking massive amounts of traffic or money, but for what it is - it's good.
So what to do? I was thinking of updating the pages (they certainly need it) but don't want to end up accidentally de-optimizing them. I could use the subdirectory for a whole new content site, but are new pages in there going to do so well? There are also non-performing pages which I could try to improve.
Would be interested to hear what others have done in this position? I'm loath to break anything, but surely this would be a better place to start than with a fresh new domain?