EditorialGuy - 2:32 pm on Oct 18, 2013 (gmt 0)
To compete with the carousel, paid ads, Google shopping blocks, image blocks, YouTube videos, etc., one is *almost* forced to join Adwords for many search terms to appear above the fold.
That depends on the search query. Some queries spawn a great many ads, but not all do.
Still, that's really beside the point. From a searcher's point of view, does it matter if a search for "blue widget" yields organic or paid results? Just the other day, I was searching for a [kitchenware item], and I saw a Product Search box that featured pictures of the [kitchenware item] with prices and retailer names underneath. If I were a typical user, would it matter to me that the Product Search box was higher on the page than the organic results? The search was an attempt to find the [kitchenware item], not to locate a Web site.
So yes, it may be true that Google is reducing the visibility of organic results for commercial searches (just as it is for information searches with maps, carousels, local results, YouTube videos, and so on). But if users are finding what they want more quickly, thanks to features like Product Search and a "sponsored review engine," is that damaging the user experience?
The real world, for legitimate businesses anyways, involves the sale of goods and services. The consumption of these goods and services drives 2/3 of our economy in the USA, at least according to what leading economists say.
Yes, and historically, most of those businesses have advertised--using newspapers, magazines, billboards, radio, TV, Yellow Pages, handouts, and (in more recent years) online ads. Is it unrealistic to think that search engines, like other media, would want to earn money from the impressions and leads they deliver?