Buried in the Time interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt is an astonishing admission:
Another example of a question that we are debating right now is: we have this amazing product called AdSense for content, where we’re monetizing the Web. If you’re a publisher we run our ads against your content. It’s phenomenal. How do we make that product produce better content, not just lots of content?
Not “lots of” content but “better” content.
AdSense has provided an incentive to produce content that makes people click on ads, but not necessarily content that best serves users’ needs and interests. AdSense made online content much more profitable — but it didn’t necessary make GOOD content more profitable.
It’s very telling that Google now sees taming the Made for AdSense beast as one of its main strategic challenges.