Looks like it is an actual ban, since when I logged into the Google Webmaster area today I saw this notice:
It would be much easier for site owners if your account would say ‘this is why you were banned’ when it does the check in this area. Instead it just says, ‘you’re banned, deal with it’.
I have no idea what could have caused this, as I don’t even do any SEO on this site… I decided to submit a reinclusion request, but there is no way I am agreeing (by submitting the form) that my site has in the past broken TOS, because I don’t believe that it has…
This isn’t really a huge deal to me, as the site isn’t really monetized well and most of my readers come from bookmarks, links to me or are RSS subscribers, but I can’t help but be a little pissed that it’s happened. I mean, what if I depended on my site for income, as so many of you do? The only recourse is to admit wrongdoing and ask for reinclusion? How am I supposed to know what I’ve done?