No-one on this forum has seen any of my sites, but I hope you would have got the impression from my posts here that I favour building quality sites, using white-hat methods (a mostly quality content-based approach) and avoiding all the various schemes that are out there.
I am sure there will be people ready to say, "Well, you must have done SOMETHING wrong" or "They don't just ban people for no reason".
Well, Google/Adsense obviously have something against the way I was doing things because I got my account suspended (which as we all know is as good as being finished with Adsense for all eternity) - but I cannot for the life of me fathom what the reason was, since of course no detailed reason is given by them. In my case it was the "your account is related to an account that was disabled for violations of AdSense policies" version of the notice. Whatever the real reason was it certainly wasn't that, since I have only ever had one account with Adsense (since 2007), never been banned, never been associated with anyone who has been banned.
For the record, yes, I had all original, useful content, yes, I had privacy policies, no I did not encourage invalid clicks, no, I did not place my ads agressively (above the fold etc.) - and anyway, none of those were cited as reasons, right? But then we don't actually believe what they write in those notices anyway, so maybe I have to look for an obvious anomaly with my account.
The major "anomaly" with my account was that I saw a drastic increase in CPCs last month and this - I did not get much of an increase in clicks, but I did see some very large CPCs (which I posted about a few times). I have no idea why, I presumed some advertisers were using up their budgets or there was increased competition for seasonal reasons (the main site concerned is in the edu niche). The result was a MASSIVE spike in earnings (for me). It was an incredibly successful month or so in the book of most IMers, I would think: I ranked for some key search terms with high CPC and started banking with Adsense - that's what most people on this forum dream of doing, right?! I mean, everyone and his dog here are creating niche sites for high-CPC terms and hoping to rank them!
I genuinely do not know what I did wrong, and I really don't want to get into an autopsy (well, maybe you did this, maybe you did that), because there is just no way of knowing - they don't tell you, but I have a suspicion that they just do not like people deliberately targetting high-CPC terms with small "micro-niche" sites. Although my sites are a fair bit more sophisticated than your typical MFA, at the end of the day they are EMDish and quite keyword orientated, and that is pretty hard to get away from. At the end of the day, ANY site that actively seeks to get big Adsense clicks can be construed as being an MFA site and could come onto Google's radar, especially once you start breaking through the $100-$200 a day mark.
Heck, maybe some big-spending advertiser accidentally forgot to limit their budget and then kicked up a stink when they got all these expensive clicks debited, so they had to give them the benefit of the doubt and ban me and refund them - any number of conspiracy theories would work here.
Don't think I am here to whinge about getting banned - I knew that Adsense was never a revenue source to rely on, it was always just a sideline for me. It sucks that I will not get paid that $1500 or so, but I never counted on it anyway, I never do until it's in my bank account (funnily enough, I just got my last Adsense cheque, issued the day of the ban, for two months previously). My family won't be going hungry, and I am refocusing on other things - I do not expect to successfully appeal the ban, nor do I think I want to risk any business venture involving Adsense again. The affected site/s will work great for lead-gen, who knows, that might even be more profitable.
All I want to say is, if you are dreaming of Adsense riches with that niche site you are trying desperately rank, with the $50 CPC, make sure you have a plan B in place, because striking gold with Adsense might actually get you where you DON'T want to be - right on Google's Ban Radar.
Over and out.