Econsultancy recently did an article on how paid search results are dominating some search engine results pages. While this increases the overall value and revenue associated with the search engine results page, I'm not that optimistic that it increases the value for the search user.
Here's a screenshot of the “credit cards” search engine results page:
Here's a great infographic from WordStream on the argument of paid versus organic search. While marketers may argue over which one is more impactful, if Google continues to shrink the organic search section there's not much of a debate to have. I think it will be a sad day in online marketing when a great company can't simply work hard to develop great content and get the attention they deserve.