Compare that to how the search results looked in 2007, you’ll notice that Ads were clearly labelled and separated by colour. They also had much less screen space due to less Headlines, Descriptions & Ad Extensions:
Clearly the value of being rank 1 organically has dropped. I believe a combining SEO & PPC is the best route for most businesses, you get short-term results with Google Ads and then long-term stability & efficiency with the Organic rankings.
If you’re a new small business in a competitive industry then it’s very likely that being rank 1 for your highest traffic driving keyword is not going to be financially viable or profitable. If you are in that situation then I’d recommend focusing your efforts on ranking as high as possible in the Google Map Pack and having better Ad Copy (and Landing Pages) than your competition.