No, Johnnie, it's advertising. Spam is unsolicited bulk messages sent indiscriminately.
The adverse reaction to this announcement is amusing because behind it is the frustration that another media channel is getting taken over by those with the money. And, that is a concern.
Good point, well made. This is the kind of thoughtful analysis that brings me back to WW.
I'll make the obvious point and say if Google or any other search engine becomes only a place to find ads on a topic (not an awful concept, btw), then they risk losing their high status with their public.
They have a balancing act to perform. If they mess it up, someone will come in and take their business. It's the same problem The New York Times has. (See the debate about front-page ads, for example.)
It is fair to expect that Google will push the boundaries.
I, for one, do not think ads are a bad thing for the consumer or the market place. What's "popular" is not always the best. Allowing an idea to break out in front using the cash of someone who will "put their money where their mouth is" can serve the common good. Perfect? Hardly. But, I don't know of a better system.