diberry - 4:04 pm on Jul 29, 2013 (gmt 0)
As I've suggested before, maybe that's one of the reasons why Google is starting to let ads dominate its commercial search results.
I agree. It's a safe choice, especially in an environment in which people have written their government representatives, complaining that the #1 plumber in Google didn't do right by them, and the government representatives have turned around and said, "Yeah, Google, what on earth are you doing having disreputable plumbers at the top of your listings?" As long as they have PAID to be at the top, it makes it much easier for Google to argue before a frighteningly ignorant yet just as frighteningly powerful group of government nimrods that they, like TV networks and newspapers, cannot know upfront that a potential ad client might be disreputable.
Sorry for being a little off-topic, mods. But I can bring it back: I'm not seeing any big changes in rankings in my informational niches today, but I AM seeing more consistent advertising in them. While this may not have to do with any updates per se, I do think it makes sense to track ads on your queries as well as your rankings to get a sense of where your traffic is going.