diberry - 4:06 pm on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)
Google has publicly stated via their CEO that their game has changed, things like knowledge graph, paid shopping, "getting closer to the action", even MC has said that ads have value in terms of relevance and quality, this is a far cry from the google of 2002.
To beat down others that recognize that the ground has shifted is at least being out of touch, I won't speculate any further than that but it's certainly not a credible notion to be floating, that google is the pure search engine that it was a decade ago. This is supposedly a webmaster forum not the Google Defense League.
I believe any theory that ends with "...and then Google makes more money" should not be dismissed out of hand, because that's what Google does. Such theories should be tested for plausibility: how much money would G make [from zombie traffic]? How could they guarantee the webmaster won't buy advertising elsewhere, or just give up the site entirely? If they're doing this on a big enough scale to make real money, why aren't we hearing more about it?
BTW, after filing my reinclusion request a day or so before Backdraft mentioned that phone call, I got my "no manual action" email and no suggestion I should buy traffic. Then again, I don't use Adwords so maybe that accounts for the difference.