While at SIINDA conference, Google was an obvious point of reference and conversation both in the formal sessions and the informal discussions afterwords.
One number that was bandied about was the total number of currently verified local business listings worldwide. While I have no way to independently verify the number of 20 million verified listings, as Google has not confirmed it, the number noted seemed credible and reasonable. Roughly 20% of all of the world’s businesses as of last November.
Google has chosen to not publicly share this number since December of 2011 when the number of claimed listings was 8 million.
How does this compare to Facebook?
It essentially would put Google on even footing as far as verified locations. In November Facebook noted that they has 25 million active pages but they included in the number 5 million non local businesses, what Google calls Brand pages.
For Google, the total number thus could be much larger at this point. However, verification does not engaged make. Facebook noted that the business must have a Page that’s been active in the past 28 days. That doesn’t speak to the accuracy of Facebook’s listing, an area that Google has a significant advantage.
Most of the verified business listings in Google’s court have been verified and then effectively not touched by the business. Historically, there has been little compelling reason for a business to return to the dashboard.
My sense is that is slowly changing and that Google is well positioned to strongly increase engagement going forward. That assumes they can finally get the technical and branding mishegas that is the Plus/Places fiasco behind them.How Many Businesses Have Verified G+ Pages for Local? by Mike Blumenthal