Legitimate small businesses are starting to sour on paid search, according to this Business Week piece.
My guess is that so many made-for-paid-search businesses, with ads that lead to sites users aren’t really looking for, has depressed clicks. Blame Google’s lack of quality control.
The good news for newspaper.com sites is that there is a crack in the business model. The bad news is that if potential advertisers have one more reason not to trust online advertising, they are going to be harder to sell.