Google Offers Paid Inclusion- Good To Know

A few years ago I was really impressed by everything Google did and it remained like that for years. However,  recently I really have to wonder were their ethics went. It's been reported all over the web that the Google+ integration is "a bit" too much and the Google privacy rules might turn into a Spy world. I guess it sucks, but they will probably get away with it. Today I noticed another fun little feature, that should make the Groupons of this world a bit upset:

Google started pushing the Google Offers product into the SERPS (top right above all Adwords). The banner and ad appears not only when you are logged in, but also at times when you are logged out of Google.

In other words: Google is giving their own deal products a premier paid spot with image in the SERPs. Now did they ask all the 2000 Groupon clones and all e-commerce sites with deals  to get the same treatment? Or are we back to the old transparency tactics?

Logged in view:

 

Logged out view:

 

No wonder the NYC subways are plastered with Google banners promoting the new Google good to know campaign. Personally I am just glad to see that we are back to the 2004  paid inclusion days :)