It does make you wonder what impact this is going to have on 2nd page traffic with ads being on the bottom - but I think will annoy most that have been used to searching and then refining there searches on the bottom box, which is something I always used to do
the bottom search disappeared on my end about 6 months ago.
Google phases things in to keep people from building a consensus against them. Split the opposition so to speak to kill the political momentum. Simple testing would have yielded if people were pro on this issue. A full simultaneous rollout could then have been made if so. This leads me to believe this was strictly about money more than any real user experience otherwise you could opt out. Google the search engine of fewer and fewer choices except for what they want you to see.
In fact the other day I watched Google slip and slide the highlighting on Adwords in and out of the top results. Just do this on a regularly scheduled supposedly accidental basis and you pay off all the Christmas bonuses and about every other perk. I donít put anything past these Google fellows.
Must be brand-new for me because it just showed up when I checked it today. The bottom of the page shows images (I picked a word at random but it turned out to be the name of a movie) and then "searches related to..."