PPC Discussions noted that a long-standing page at Google advising that buying ads is not a way to rank better for free on Google had disappeared. Sign of a new change? No, Google says it was accidentally removed and will be restored when new help pages are published shortly. FYI, a similar page is still live here. Until the other one comes back, here’s what it said:
Will participation in AdWords or AdSense affect my listing in Google’s free search results?
Google’s advertising programs are independent of our search results. Search results display on the left side of our results page; ads appear on the right and in the colored box at the top.
Participation in an advertising program doesn’t positively or negatively affect inclusion or ranking in the Google search results. Inclusion and ranking are free services; we don’t accept payment to expedite inclusion or improve a site’s ranking for particular keywords. To learn more about how Google ranks pages, please visit http://www.google.com/technology/index.html