Megan Garber of The Atlantic reports, “On June 18, 2003, Google made an announcement. Following the successful launch of AdWords, the firm was going to extend its search-based ad program with a new service that would allow web publishers to serve ads themselves — ads that would be precisely targeted to the specific content of their individual web pages. ‘With Google AdSense,’ Google announced, ‘publishers serve text-based Google AdWords ads on their site and Google pays them for clicks on these ads.’ This, Google reasoned, was a win-win: “users benefit from more relevant ads and publishers can maximize the revenue potential of their websites.”

Garber interviewed Susan Wojcicki, one of the masterminds behind AdSense about its last decade and the years ahead. Garber asked, “Do you see the Knowledge Graph, and Google’s broader investment in semantic search, playing a role in its approach to ads?” Wojcicki replied, “The nice thing about the Knowledge Graph is that it gives you different answers [than what you would get from a standard search]. And it can understand different components in the search. Although it’s probably early for us, in advertising, to think about, I think whenever you understand meaning better, you can serve better results. And since advertising is just another form of information, it means you can serve better advertising, too. But it’s still early.”

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