Reading List: Can Facebook Ever Beat Google at Ads?

Each day we provide a roundup of five stories from around the Web that our editors read and found noteworthy. Follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day @digiday.

Facebook’s Real Google Problem: Facebook is on an undeniable run. It appears set to be the newest digital media gatekeeper, boasting a user base of 800 million. But if Facebook is to battle Google, it has a problem. AdContrarian points out the yawning gap between how well Google makes money off its users compared to Facebook. Part of this is inevitable, since Google has a near perfect ad system that returns ads in direct response to consumer requests. Search is, in the words of ex-Yahoo CEO Terry Semel, a “beautiful system.” Social media is  messier than search. The signals there — relationshps, really — aren’t as neat as search queries when it comes to driving commerce. AdContrarian — Brian Morrissey @bmorrissey

Good News for Gurus: If Altimeter analyst Jeremiah Owyang is to be believed, the head of social media position at some companies can go for upwards to $350,000 a year in compensation. Owyang is told by recruiters that the positions require an MBA and 10 years experience. I assume that’s a decade of experience in business, since 10 years ago, social media consisted of some sketchy chat rooms and Geocities. Needless to say, Owyang’s pronouncement was met with howls of disbelief in the Twittersphere. Scott Henderson, managing director of cause marketer Causeshift,  responded: “Will they accept rockstar and ninja certification in lieu of MBAs?” @jowyang — Brian Morrissey @bmorrissey

Google+ vs. Facebook Pages: Google rolled out brand pages for Google+ today, as well as a feature called Direct Connect, which makes it easy for users to find brands on the social network via Google search. Looking for Toyota? Typing +Toyota in the search bar will take you directly to the brand’s official Google+ page, for example. It’ll be interesting to see if the introduction of Direct Connect has an impact on marketers’ Facebook pages. If enough users adopt the feature, it could lead to a drop in traffic to Facebook, and encourage marketers to take their Google+ presence more seriously as a result. Mashable — Jack Marshall @JackMarshall

Will Groupon’s Investors Develop Coupon Fatigue?: In the wake of Groupon’s higher-then-expected market cap, a report from Forrester Research is extremely critical of the daily deals and flash sale businesses. According to Sucharita Mulpuru, the analyst who authored the report and who was very vocal in her criticism of Groupon’s IPO in the days leading up to the stock issue, more than one third of consumers who subscribe to daily deals emails have never purchased a deal. Additionally, there is evidence that rather than creating incremental sales, daily deals actually cannibalize existing business. More than half of subscribers who purchase deals, particularly for restaurants and clothing stores, are current customers, not new business. Forbes — Anne Sherber @AnneSherber

Big Data’s Big Splash: Big data is getting bigger as brands wake up to the fact that their best strategy for market penetration will inevitably be data-driven. Hadoop, which makes data storage and analytics faster and more user-friendly, has been around as a project for a while, but now the big box press is talking about it. It’s recently been spun off by contributor Yahoo to an open source company, Hortonworks, which hopes to help brands use it to take the fear factor out of big data wrangling.The framework already has some not-so-insignificant “early adopters”, like Facebook.  WSJ — Carla Rover @carlarover
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