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Do you get just as many clicks on Adsense when the 'ads by Google' text is displayed more prominently or do you get fewer clicks?
Whatever label is on your ads should stay as it's part of the Adsense code. As for whether or not it discourages clicks, that might depend on your readers more than anything else. Since you must have your ads clearly labeled as such it won't help to obscure the print too much or Google Adsense may crack down on you.
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Yes it is discouraging clicks. Proven.