Well, I don't see how Google can attack the publishers without wipping out massive legitimate businesses that write unique high quality articles on their sites using white hat SEO.I think that the MAYDAY/FARMER/PANDA Google algorithm updates are attacking the same problem. Publishers/the IM industry has sucessfully dominated long tail search and brand keywords to the point that big adwords clients are complaining. Something like you said, "more visitors and less customers".
Now I see coupon spamming sites scrapping contents like our meta description or displaying no contents with our company name or domain name.
Did the Panda update did the job against these kind of spammers? Absolutely not.
Did the Panda update dis the job against the spammers stealing the brand name and use it on their page titles for their own gains? Asolutely not.
These are just a few examples.
If the big adwords clients are complaining, Google shouldn't change anything because they said that their goal is good user experience.
The trend is an Adwords overlap on the organic search when the ads are above the organic column which really take the wind when we all know that the first position is about 70% of traffic.
Something to read: 2009: The Year AdWords Attacked Organic Search | The ClickEquations Blog
I think the author should update this article because it is very actual in 2011