SevenCubed - 10:24 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)
gives them a way to monetize organic SERPS
Agreed 100%, but with a twist. I've already said earlier in this thread that is where it's going. But, just to restate it from a different perspective now that a few others have chimed in that they too notice that, I'll say that they want to monetize the pixel space that was previously occupied by organic SERPS. Not the actual organic results.
For those who have said; "yeah but those tagged results were previously organic results" so it's just enhancing their listing, I say hold onto your hats. Tags are new and mostly unheard of yet. So in the interim until they become the new battleground, well, somebody has to continue to occupy that space, so it may as well be what were previously organic results.
Let's see what it looks like 6 months to a year from now when page one results will be a splash page of paid advertising and true effort results will begin on page 2. Sites that previously were buried in SERPs, and even some businesses that don't have sites, will be lead to the slaughterhouse of advertising and plunk down their bucks for page one paid-links. So, we can always count on the other search engines to not take that route right?! They'll be watching closely and if Google gets away with it then it will be a case of monkey see monkey do. Or as I would prefer to say monkey-mind see monkey-mind do.
I can appreciate any business wanting to earn a profit, it's a necessity. But at what point does the greed stop? A company with the reach of influence such as Google does has a social responsibility to share the prosperity, yes, no? By sharing I mean, leave some space for the little people who try their best to earn and honest day's wages! Googlers, you are obscenely wealthy now, I can hear you breathing through your mouths and can see you drooling, it's disgusting, go away, get out of my face.