Yeah, I've gotten good advice from the AdSense team to from time to time. This time wasn't one of the general messages, but not one of the screen shot messages either. I pretty much ignore the real general messages.
I actually thought the change might work on those pages, but now I'm glad I tested it on a limited number of pages. That layout does work pretty well on another section of the site, but it's been in place on that section for years.
The difference in the pages is the specific type of content. But both are info type destination pages.
The pages where this layout works for me almost always have other outbound links for further info.
The pages where it didn't work for me are "last stop" destination pages without any other outbound links.
By "outbound links" I mean links that take the reader away from my site, not in site navigation links.