Google has covered Techmeme, VentureBeat, WebGuild, and others today amidst speculation that Google layoffs are coming... and 10,000 workers are affected. Whether those rumors are wholly true (my clear hunch: no), I've noticed another clear economic impact:

My GMail account is being littered with new, unwanted ads.

Google needs more pageviews. As ad dollars fall, increased pageviews is one of the few ways to offset the downturn.We saw this with:

- YouTube - Google Images

.... and now GMail. It seems to me that this move was masked by Google's new, well-received GMail Themes - which was launched just a few days ago. Now, every email I have has vertical ads layered beside the email's content - with an ad unit horizontally above.

What's coming next?

Gmail Ads Google