I'd been wondering about to what extent the more MFA type look of some google results pages affects traffic to sites in organic results. Seems this plus algo change makes things muddy.
The Chitika research suggests that if Google can make top sponsored links look not too dissimilar from organic ones (and difference not huge, is it?), and maintain its position as search engine of choice - well, those top adverts could be nice little earner.
Never mind adwords for appearing on some web page or other; how about paying to be in one of the three pseudo-highest search results?
I imagine some discussions in google about such things, w people wanting to maintain excellence in search being countered by those who see dollars, dollars and more dollars mwahahaaha