David Beisel writes:
I see these…moves from Yahoo and Google as potential datapoints in a trend towards advertorial content, where the content is the advertising (see other posts on the topic). When the current paid search market emerged, there was a clear line of demarcation between it (advertising) and natural search (content). Since then, the line between these two has blurred (perhaps in part because most consumers dont know the difference anyway), creating an advertorial search product which is sponsored by advertisers yet still includes some editorial control. And in some ways, this situation is a good thing at the end of the day, all content and advertising (even links to other content) is most effective when delivered to the most appropriate person to consume it. The difficulty is to avoid alienating advertisers in that tightrope walk (as it is in any advertorial product).