From now on Google is showing AdWords ads above search results in its "free" photo sharing service Picasa. It's hard to imagine people being shocked by this.
Google has been getting more aggressive with adding ads to its products. Only a few weeks ago, Google started adding them to Google News search results after years of not having them.
AdWords prove to be quite convenient anytime Google needs a quick monetization model for one of its products. The PPC platform has been Google's bread and butter for years, so it only makes sense. If anything it's surprising that more of these products weren't already sporting AdWords - especially Google News.
Of course as Google Operating System's Alex Chitu points out, Google has been pretty straightforward in saying that it would be adding ads to more of its properties. This post from November makes it pretty clear.
"Whenever we make changes like these, we carefully evaluate users' reactions to ensure we're holding true to our basic principles: that ads by Google should always be relevant and useful," Google's Nick Fox said back then. "Of course, these experiments benefit Google because they generate revenue from new sources — but by ensuring that we show the right ads at the right time to the right people, we'll add value for users too."
As long as ads are relevant, there shouldn't be too much complaining. Google users are pretty accustomed to seeing AdWords to the right of their search results. If they pop up in some other Google-owned searches too, it pretty much just makes it feel more like Google.
Imagine how many people using Picasa,imagine that you can somehow directly target Picasa for your adwords ads.....imagine the cash flow ;)