Google Mashes PPC and Organic Listings Together in Local Results Revamp


They kind of bury the lede (in my opinion) in this article's headline:

Google seems to have ditched the Local Carousel experiment and is moving to what can at best be described as a "blended" 3-pack of local results instead. Clicking on a local result for businesses like hotels, restaurants, etc. will take users to a separate details page that includes PPC ads that look like organic listings and a genuine link to the business website that looks like an ad. Despite the hard-to-see "Ad" labeling, this only further blends the SERPs so users can't distinguish between paid and organic listings and only pushes organic listings further down the page of the SERPs.

At this point its fairly clear in my opinion that Google is intentionally designing the SERPs visually to promote PPC ads over organic listing without the average user detecting this, at least in the local space.