walkman - 6:10 pm on Sep 17, 2011 (gmt 0)
This is not a surprise. Once you realize that EVERYTHING is about money, and I mean everything, this is an obvious move by Google. They can talk all they want about user experience, no evil, etc., etc., etc., but moving the organic listings down, even a smidge, let's them manipulate searchers into clicking on ads that make Google more MONEY. Always, always follow the money, and you will understand the world and how it works.
No one expects Google or their engineers to work for free, but WT* ? ! What is enough? Should I add 12 adsense unit on my page to make more money so users click and next year add another 4 more? At some point it becomes just too much and never-ending greed comes back to haunt you.
Frankly at some point it becomes fraud and stealing, maybe not in the legal sense but people come to Google with the understanding that Google sends them to the best site in an unbiased manner, without tweaking the results for money or manipulating ads. Google is on track to make $10 Billion in profit this year--after paying their people extremely well. Will $20 billion be 'enough' next year? $30 Billion? Don't make us look under the hood Google, you'll regret it. We may not have Stanford degrees but all you need is elementary school education to see what's going on.
EVERYTHING is about money no matter what anyone is saying to the contrary.
Or, the more they say it isn't about money...
We used to have a large logo and now we have a small logo with white space under it. Is that really pushing the SERPs down further than before? Has anyone actually got any measurements?
Looks to me like the top ad, the best paying one, is too high for many people. They are many ways of testing it and after tens of thousands visits it becomes clear if more people click on top vs the bottom or middle. As a bonus, the organic serps are down as well leaving many users debating on what ad or Google service to click.
I wonder how many people don't have a clue that they are clicking on ads.