joined:Mar 14, 2014
The 200x extra visitors was directly from Google. 200x may have been an exaggeration, but the site visitors went from about 200 a day to 10,000 a day for about 2 month before dropping back to a steady 1,500 a day. Since then its been a steady increase to about 7,00 a day. It was all directed to a single post, so the bounce rate increased for the same period. It was when I started getting the increase in visitors that I started to try and speed things up.
I know any peaks in visitors can seem suspicious to Google, but Google sent them. And no there's been no seo work done besides a yoast seo plugin. I wasn't even sure if using a plugin for seo was permitted and was worried about using one.
I doubt it would be click bombing. The rate didn't increase at all, although I was earning more because of the extra visitors.
I just read the link that levo added. The first to suggest that it may have been Cloudflare was Cloudflare. After the appeal and Adsense forum I decided to contact my host, wordpress support forum and Cloudflare. The host gave me log files, wordpress support said the caching plugin wouldn't have been the problem. It was only Cloudflare that offered any suggestion to the problem. They said "that's why we suggest installing Mod_cloudflare." Unfortunately it couldn't be installed on the shared hosting. It took several more emails before I was pointed to the plugin.
When I initially mentioned Cloudflare in the Adsense forum most people said it wouldn't be that. But once I said what Cloudflare had said to me a lot began to wonder aloud if it was the problem. I'm looking at it with the view that there was a sudden increase in visitors, and all of a sudden all of the clicks were geographically centralised. That would explain the invalid clicks that I experienced and those in the link that levo posted.
I have been approved for 6 other ad networks, so I'm using the highest paying one at the moment and have 5 other backups. I've moved to a VPS, so things seem so much better all round for the site since moving. So much more control, and much faster, especially with SSD.
Basically the 2 departments are suggesting the legal course. If I was certain it was the best way to go I wouldn't be here asking for advice. Yes, if I was taken to court by someone I wouldn't want to do business with them either, hence my trepidation.
I've been doing OK without Adsense, but I know I could do better with Adsense. It p****s me off when others knowingly breach the rules and get away with it for years and I honestly didn't do anything on my part to upset Google. But alas, I did manage to upset them.
If I did manage to find a solution satisfactory to Googles requirements, how would I apply to get my personal account back? Or would it be better to create a business account?
[edited by: martinibuster at 2:28 am (utc) on Mar 15, 2014]
[edit reason] TOS & Charter. [/edit]