Does running a "tip" that is essentially an ad seem sketchy in this situation? Google is making Typepad, Squarespace, and Ourstory outbid each other for the top spot above search results but they display an image-ad for their own competing product right in the sweet zone. Plus, it's a "tip" which seems better than an ad.
Update: This is true for other stuff too like "photo sharing."
Update#2: I'm not the only one who thinks this is sketchy. Firefox cofounder Blake Ross has a Tip: Trust is hard to gain, easy to lose and TechCrunch thinks this is the beginning of a bad kind of Tipping Point for Google.