Quite a lot of web design is being sold there. In fact, elance even has banner ads that target web design keywords. ;) Whether this is a viable way to scrounge up web design business, I can't say.
But back to the original topic, I think that this is a very thoughtful posting. It makes sense for Google to screen out e-businesses and make them pay for adwords. Google's methodology would be to automate the screening process. So the challenge would be to come out with heavier duty analysis. A challenge their Phd engineers are well up to.
For example: Their News Aggregator is amazing. It will skim the actual Headline to determine what the news article is about and use it in the regular Google serps.
What's amazing is that an online article generally consists of 1>Headline
2>Dek (A one sentence blurb) and
3> Title (A one to two word identifier, like "Dining" "International" or "Circuits."
The News Aggregator will use the Headline in the Google Serps. Not the metas, not the title, not the Dek, not the body text, not even the Title Tag. The beauty in this is the way Google can not only zero in on the Headline but how it accurately identifies the Headline from all of the above listed variables (head,dek,title,metas,title tag) and pops it into the Serps as: "News about "Keyword-keyword-phrase."
Google adwords is their goose laying the golden eggs. It makes total sense to incline ecommerce sites to pay for exposure. Google has the technological know-how to intelligently filter them and incline them to pay. It's an offer they won't be able to refuse.
But let's not kid ourselves about "information sites" being different from ecommerce sites. Info sites generally are not soap boxes, but a way for someone to turn knowledge into coin. Bravo!
If I look up an interesting recipe, chances usually are that I will be subjected to very many aggressive pop-ups. It pays the bills. It's not really an information site. It's quite often a hybrid. And these sites may also be subject to the ecommerce "treatment" as well.