It seems that after more than a month, We at Connecting the Dots have finally received a reply from Google that better clarifies the problem that they saw. With that simple 18 word clarification, we can now look to make things right.
Apparently according to Google the problem was not the image as we were lead to believe. When Google had sent us the link, there were no Google ads on the page so we could not easily connect what they were seeing. As Connecting the Dots is powered by WordPress, the page is generated by the server with each view. Because Google had already disabled their ads, we only saw the picture and nothing else. As a result we were lead to think the picture was the problem.
Apparently early on we did some hard code imbedding so that Google ads would appear in the right most column. However as we were new to WordPress at that time, we did not realize that by clicking on any image, a page would be generated with the image and no content, and that is apparently what Google saw. As there have been many upgrades to WordPress over the years as well, how single photos are displayed has changed as well and that too was part of the problem.
When we first set up this site displaying a single image was just that, there were no pages generated and the image was stuffed into the upper left corner all by itself. With the newer versions of WordPress that became an option and not the default setting. As a result when that release came out, we instantly were in violation of Google’s rules.
So what Google did was essentially half right, but also half wrong. Yes we were in violation but not intentionally, but playing 20 questions leaving us to guess what was wrong was a huge shortcoming on Google’s part. To correct that the human reply from Google stripped out 19 questions and left only the specific violation, and added a comment to better clarify.
So after a day of figuring out what to do, we fixed the problem. So what we have done is removed the hard coding and just left other ads in the right most column. We also went through and changed the link on each image so it would not generate a page when viewed separately.
So we have published this part 4 entry at the same time we have notified Google of the corrections. Now we will see how long it will take for them to reply.