shazam - 10:35 am on Nov 12, 2011 (gmt 0)
I don't see this as news. Nothing new here.
Google has always favored sites that have no or very few ads, and in the last few years also started heavily penalizing affiliate ads.
Paid links and ads are bad unless it's google that is doing it.
I would be surprised if a large number of webmasters haven't already trimmed the ads on their sites in the last few years.
As always, don't listen to the pr and propaganda guys, follow the actual search results. Google's actions have been screaming at full volume lately, not hard to hear or understand.