New research at Majestic SEO suggests that Facebook is holding off the Google+ challenge – at least for the moment.

We all know that Google and Facebook are far from friends. They are fighting for hearts and minds and whilst everyone has a view on who is winning, you can’t always find metrics that compare like with like Majestic Million is one such metric. It tracks the spread of links to the top million domains updated every day. That metric puts Google at #1 and Facebook at #2 at today’s date and it it a great way to predict the forthcoming fortunes of a business, based on whether their sites are getting traction on the web.

Digging a little deeper, though, Google’s number 1 position is predicated in historical success, rather than current success. By comparing the Fresh data and the Historical data in our back link history checker, we can see that Google Plus is not making the headway that Google would like and worse… over a 30 day period, we see considerably more links to Facebook than to Google… even though historically we have seen many more links to Google.

While Google has the advantage over 5 years…

Using the Fresh Index we can see that the Yellow line is stronger than the Blue line:

…over a 30 day period, Facebook is seen more than Google.

This contradiction is significant on two levels. First, though, let’s explain what we are looking at. The top chart is a cumulative total of all URLS that we have seen pointing to each of the two root domains over a period of several years. If a URL is subsequently deleted once seen, it will NOT disappear from the chart. The second chart, however, is a cumulative chart of links RECRAWLED to the two root domains over the last 30 days. This does not necessarily been new links… just links that we have either seen for the first time or “reseen” within the last 30 days.

Significant observation #1:

For every 2 links we saw to Google.com, we are saw 3 to Facebook over the last month.

Significant observation #2:

Facebook are winning inspite of a huge insurgence of links to Google+ in the fresh index, as we can see by looking at the subdomain plus.google.com in Site Explorer. If you flip between the data “fresh” and “historic” flags, you will see (at the time of writing) that the historic index has about 750,000 back links to Plus.google.com but the Fresh Index has over 5.7 million links pointing to plus.google.com. This means that there has been a significant surge of links to Google+ but it seems that this wave is not yet enough to start making significant ground up against Facebook.

 

 

Comments

  • Chad Buie

    I think Google will hold their own against Facebook. I am a regular user of facebook, but I am always logged into my gmail account and I do everything there. I even have Google voice which is totally free (except Int calls/still cheap though) and don’t have to stop my work. The links to Facebook are probably niche things like hot stories amoung people, farming and phising. I just don’t see the practical side to facebook mechanically. I have seen the web change since I was 12 years old (now 29) and I remember when I just used web crawler search engine to connect to information, consuming that information on the website etc. So I think that gap will always be there between the too. I personally don’t really use Facebook that often, because too me other than looking at hot girls from highschool and seeing what they are up to it is like a cheap way to just spy on people. Google is in the business of indexing information that webmasters like me create? I think Google will hold that reign and SEO communities and webmasters over the next 10 years will keep the rate of websites with good information will help keep that distances between the two.

    August 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm
  • Dixon Jones

    Google is moving from search to social. They are working hard to get the initiative back. Whether you pitch for Google or Facebook both are playing an increasingly high stakes game. But regardless of which brand we back personally, it’s the public that count…

    To them Google is a means to an end. Facebook is an end in itself.

    Moreover… more people are linking to Facebook than to Google.

    August 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm
  • joyce davies

    I think the public speaks for itself, which I think is a guide in itself.

    August 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm
  • Matthew Read

    I think Google+ still has a few tricks up its sleeve and will easily be able to compete with Facebook over the next year. For example, it is still on the cards for Google to add +1 buttons to all Tweets which would hugely increase exposure of the +1 button and therefore Google+.

    Also, as companies become more integrated into Google+ we are likely to see more advertising pushing people to Google+ competitions and fan pages (or equivalent) which will also increase their exposure.

    I think it would be a brave call to say that Facebook will hold of Google+.

    August 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm

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