More Businesses Have Facebook Pages (11m) than Claimed Google+ Local Listings (8m)

Filed in Local Search, Social Media, Statistics by Matt McGee on July 26, 2012 14 Comments

I’m not listening in to the Facebook earnings call at the moment, but the tweets and news reports from it are circulating very quickly.

One stat that caught my eye came from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who told investors and listeners on the call that 11 million businesses are using Facebook Pages. She also reportedly said that “hundreds of thousands” businesses buy advertising on Facebook.

Here’s a CNET tweet with both statistics:

I’m most interested in the first number — 11 million business pages on Facebook. To my knowledge, this is the first time that Facebook has self-reported how many business have pages.

That’s More Facebook Page than Google+ Local Pages

It’s been a while, but back in December, Google self-reported that eight million businesses had claimed their Place Pages, which are now called Google+ Local Pages.

At that time, and based on Google’s own numbers, about a million Place Pages were being claimed every five months. If that rate has held up, Google would be at about 9.5 million +/- claimed pages now — still below what Facebook is reporting today.

This isn’t really a surprise. When we do our GetListed Local University workshops around the country, we often ask for a show of hands and we always seem to have more SMB owners saying they have a Facebook Page than have claimed their Google business listing.

Now it’s finally nice to have more a show of hands to compare the two.

Comments (14)

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  1. Scott Clark says:

    It’s my opinion that having a Google Local listing with 20+ positive reviews is just about the best way to spend your social/CCM time. Most SMB facebook pages are simply awful.

    • Matt McGee says:

      For SEO purposes, sure. But on the whole, I’d say it depends entirely on your goals, your industry, your location and … most of all … your audience.

  2. The part I find interesting is that for 900 million Facebook users, the number of businesses with Facebook pages isn’t higher compared to Google+ Local pages.

    Now I think we might be comparing apples and oranges a bit as Google still hasn’t allowed businesses full control over Google+ Local pages in terms of posting to it as their full Google+ page, but its becoming clear why Google’s thinks they may have a legitimate shot at competing.

    • Matt McGee says:

      Daniel, rather than look at Facebook’s 900 million users (most of which aren’t business owners, but employees, students, etc.), it might be better to compare the number of small businesses with the number of Facebook business pages. I don’t know how many small businesses there are around the world, but the Census Bureau estimates there are about 28 million in the U.S. –

      http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html

      If we can safely assume that the vast majority of Facebook business pages are US-based, which I think is true, then it’s pretty amazing that maybe one-third of them (or so) have a Facebook page. But I respect your opinion if you don’t see it that way. :-)

  3. Nick Simard says:

    Don’t forget Google places. There are many businesses which don’t have any physical office or location so instead of going for Google places they go for Facebook and create Facebook business page.

  4. I think having a domain plus using social = Facebook from most SMBs. That is where most of their friends (or friend’s kids) are and what they are familiar with. Also, who has time to do FB G+ and Tw? Most I know choose 1 and that is FB. Do people do more that put up a G+ page and then forget about it? I know some do, but not me or people I work and associate with.
    How much G+ is forced migration from Places?

  5. andreibuspro says:

    FB is for business,family and friends. It’s very convenient to use and flexible whereas Google+, it’s a limited platform. Google+ will probably catch up by end of year.

  6. The fact that more businesses have Facebook pages than Google+ pages doesn’t surprise me at all. I talk to small businesses every day and I rarely find a business that has even heard of Google Places/Google+ Local pages. Everybody knows and uses Facebook these days so I’m sure as a small business owner you figure, what the heck, I better get a Facebook page for my business.

    Not too many “regular” people are using Google+ yet. Speaking of which, I’ve been doing local SEO now for about a year and I have yet to meet a small business owner that even uses Google+ for personal or business purposes – but a lot of the owners I’ve talked to use Facebook or Twitter.

    Travis Van Slooten

  7. John says:

    You think some that is due to the diffrence in requirements Google+ Local versus creating a Facebook? I can create a facebook page and have it up and running within minutes. Google has to be created, verified, etc. Then of course there is the physical address issue that a couple have already mentioned.

    A big reason for the difference could just be pain old ease-of-use…

  8. Isn’t it obvious that Facebook had been around a lot longer than Google+? Google+ launched months before it allowed business profile pages. With Google integrating their Google+ pages into their Google Places listing will change that over the next year. Not to mention, most business owners barely have time to manage their FB profiles much less adding a profile to Google+.

    • Matt McGee says:

      Hey Jason – we’re not talking about Google+ pages. We’re talking about claimed Google business listings, a service Google has offered since 2005. They’re currently called “Google+ Local Pages,” which may be causing your confusion.

  9. Ryan Key says:

    Google Plus local listings with a high amount of feedback and ratings is more valuable these days than have a Facebook pages with a bunch of “Likes” that are mostly fake accounts. Just saying.

  10. Matt, gotcha. I didn’t know that Google changed the names of the Places Pages to Google+ Local Pages. But aren’t they one in the same?

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