Facebook E-Commerce Value Gets Criticized by Analysts- Forrester Research released a report  this week that finds Facebook’s e-commerce value isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When it comes to customer acquisition and retention, Facebook is not nearly as effective as other channels such as paid search and e-mail. Surprisingly, Forrester’s research reveals that Facebook is an effective form of marketing for retailers who do not have websites. The study’s author, Sucharita Mulpuru, explains “It’s so much cheaper and easier to slap up a few images on Facebook than to build a website with an e-commerce component from scratch. If you’re a really tiny business, to get one or two sales through Facebook, that’s a big deal, especially if that’s the only way [consumers] can access you online.” To learn more, check out Sarah E. Needleman’s article on The Wall Street Journal’s blog. 
Facebook to host Obama’s live town hall- With President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign officially underway, his staff announced  this week an upcoming town hall-style meeting on April 20th at Facebook’s headquarters.
Google to Retire Position Preference- Google made two announcements this week on their official ‘Inside AdWords’ blog related to analysis of average position in AdWords. On Monday, Google Chief Economist Dr. Hal Varian explains why marketers should focus less on average position, and more on cost, clicks, and conversions. Google followed this up by announcing  the retirement of their ‘position preference’ feature.
For a further explanation of Google’s ‘position preference change’ and Dr. Varian’s report, check out Bradd Libby’s post on The Search Agents’ blog. 
Google: Legitimate Sites v. Parasite- New legislation tackling online piracy is currently under review by both the Senate and House of Representatives. This week’s the House held a hearing entitled “Promoting Investment and Protecting Commerce Online: Legitimate Sites v. Parasites, Part II.”  Among those criticized in the hearings has been Google, which many politicians believe should take on the challenge of online privacy, by censoring pirate sites. As part of these efforts, both houses are considering a ‘private right of action,’ which Google fears would grant private companies too much leverage over the company. Google’s Kent Walker was present at yesterday’s hearings and explained this sentiment stating, “Policymakers should foreclose private rights of action and tailor intermediary requirements appropriately,” he said. “Given the evasive tactics bad actors employ to avoid detection, no intermediary will be able to prevent all abuse of its systems, and efforts to legislate must be careful not to hold intermediaries responsible for abuses of their systems that could not reasonably be prevented. Legislation should not include a private right of action that would invite suits by ‘trolls’ to extort settlements from intermediaries or sites who are making good faith efforts to comply with the law.”
To learn more, check out Nate Anderson’s article on Ars Technica. 
Google’s CEO Shakes Things Up – 1 week into his second term as CEO, Larry Page has restructured his management team to put SVPs in charge of specific business units. According to the Los Angeles Times, a Google spokesperson has confirmed  that Page’s top priority as CEO “would be to create clear lines of accountability and responsibility across Google. After carefully examining how things were done at Google, Page decided to make management changes to streamline the product and engineering structures with essentially one lead managing each functional group.”