1script - 3:50 pm on Nov 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
Yes they are. They have been for years. Their reconsideration request page for at least the last 5 years or so contains language to the extent of: "if your site is monetizing the traffic through the use of ads, you'll have to jump through 10 more hoops before we consider you're innocent". Why is that? They realize importance of ads for anyone's business and they also realize that visitors are annoyed by ads. Therefore they are bullying you to remove your ads so the visitor only sees their ads and is somewhat less annoyed through the whole experience.
Google is not saying have less ads per page.
So, let's recap: they're taking your content and show ads alongside it. At the same time they're pressuring you to remove ads from your site because they want a better user experience. Why didn't they first remove ads from their site, which is completely under their control? Ah, it's bad for business... And since they are the monopoly in both search and online ad business they do it simply because they can. Every monopoly always ends up abusing their power, Goog is just trying to cash in on their market share.
Google's own SERP leader ads (on yellow background) are something like 560x240 - almost exactly the size of two 300x250 ad blocks side by side that get a lot of bad rap lately and many people consider an MFA giveaway. Additionally, the SERPs contain no original content. How ironic...