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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Google My Business Websites Pass 36 Million Created – Why Should You Care?

Google My Business Websites, first released publicly in June of 2017, has passed 36 million sites created and continues on a strong upward trend.

From the beginning, GMB Websites has seen strong growth, passing a million sites built within the first 6 months and really taking off,  passing 10 million sites built, by the fall of 2018.

Total Google My Business Websites Since Introduction
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Google has done this by focusing on a few target countries. The bulk of the ~37 million sites have been created in the top 10 countries with almost 95% of the sites created coming from those few countries.


Total Sites







United States






Êó•Êú¨ (Japan)






Viet Nam




With all of the European countries taken together, only 5 countries/  regions created almost 34.5 million sites, 93.6% of the total.

The growth and penetration has been particularly strong in India, Indonesia and Brazil, serving Google’s “next billion users”.  In this chart you can see where Google is most obviously focusing their efforts.

Brazil’s start of hockey stick growth occurred much later than early starters, India and Indonesia, but since early 2019 has seen a growth rate to equal that of India’s. And has zoomed into a solid 3rd place.

GMB (Google My Businesss Websites) Created in top 5 Regions
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But growth has been persistent, if not as steep, in the developed world as well. If you look at just Europe, including the UK, you can see steady and significant growth with well over 1 million sites created.


GMB Websites created in Europe since June 2017
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Why Should You Care?

To many Local Marketers in the US and UK, Google My Business Websites have been largely ignored. Often for good reason; they are single page sites only, have limited controls over critical Meta information, and have very weak analytics.

The sites however are very fast, fully mobile and HTTPS compliant, offer decent CTAs and are super easy to build.

The Big Picture

If you remember back to 2012-14 when Google was mired in the morass of Google Plus, they were losing the mobile local race to Facebook and losing badly. Businesses in the developing world flocked to create Facebook pages and even many companies in the US perceived that a Facebook only presence was enough to handle their online marketing.

This website growth, part and parcel of the Google Local Team’s post G+ efforts, tells  the bigger story that Google Local is back, has increasing mindshare worldwide and is not going to give Facebook any slack in the Local space whether in India or the US.

While Google’s 36 million sites might pale to Facebook’s stated number of ~90 million or so SMB pages of Facebook, when viewed with their many other efforts in the local space, it is a clear message that Google intends to not just compete but to dominate in the space.

The Medium Picture

Should the website builders of the world worry?

WordPress with over a billion sites created has little to worry about but if you are building sites into the low end of this space, you should be very, very concerned about your future prospects.

Wix for example has about 4 million sites and given, their poor site performance on so many measures, should definitely be looking over their shoulder.

The Tactical Picture

What does this all mean for Local Marketers? If you are selling $6000 WordPress sites to lawyers, there is little of interest here. But I think that it presents and incredible opportunity at the very low end of the market as an entry level product.

If you are looking to develop relationships with the sorts of businesses that will grow into a 10 or 20 page website but are just now getting started or if you want to bundle this up with other services like reputation management and/or photos and Google Posts, Google My Business Websites has potential as a product in your line up.

When combined with a few other services these sites can offer a jumping off point that can convert prospects into customers and some of those customers into much more profitable relationships.

The Future Picture

Google’s ambitions know no bounds. Just because this is a one page product today doesn’t mean it will stay a one page product. If you think about it, it is but a small leap from here to location and product pages for enterprise.

Currently a Google My Business website, although a single page, also is home to your Google Posts, reviews and menus. It is not hard to imagine either, it being expanded to multiple pages for SMBs with about sections, products and additional transactions & CTAs.

Google plays the long game. Websites for Local is a mission critical part of that. Regardless of whether a GMB Website has a place in your selling lineup, it is a product that you should keep an eye on as a harbinger of both Google’s ambition and their successes.