Reno - 4:06 pm on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
The thing that really bothers me with Google is the lightening up of the sponsored ads background color....really blends in with organic search results and I am sure they are getting much more clicks and more revenue.
Yep, that was a well thought-out intentional modification for one purpose only -- drive more traffic out of organics and into AdWords. All the Google defenders in the world can line up to say "Our beloved Google wouldn't do that" .. well, sorry, there is simply no other explanation.
And I'd like point out, this is not a company that was in any kind of financial trouble whatsoever. The one and only goal was to make more $$ for them, and less for all the sites from which they took and displayed the content, to continue with the impression that there was a good reason for the average person to use their service.
So let's review: There's been considerable testimony that the organic SERPs have dropped in quality; and we have an intentional re-formatting of the SERPs page to push more traffic to the sponsored results.
And Matt Cutts can DEFEND this as an improvement? Sorry, I don't buy it. That's nothing but public relations, and in putting forth this nonsense, his own credibility has diminished.
At this point I can only hope that in fact, the rollout is not complete, and with the necessary tweaking & refinements, we'll see something that at least approximates the quality of Google 2006/07. But with every passing day I wonder if that's just a pipe dream.