Although Facebook and Google are usually considered totally different types of platforms the question comes up fairly often about which is better. If one were to compare the two they should really be comparing Facebook to Google Plus.
I am not that fond of Alexa rank, but that is different story for another day. However, if you look at Alexa rank for both Facebook.com and Google.com you will see that the two of them have been going back and forth for the number one spot since early May 2012.
Here is Facebook’s Alexa Rank:
And, here is Google’s:
As you can see they have both been jumping from the #1 to #2 position fairly consistently since early May 2012 to the present early October 2012.
One thing Facebook gets is a little more “Time on Site” by visitors and users. Look at the 3 month average 25:28, which is impressive know matter what site we are talking about.
At the time of this post both Facebook and Google have pagerank 9. Does it tick Google off that Facebook has been nudging ahead of them in Alexa rank? Probably not, or at least not that we know about. But, I would be willing to bet that they have concerns about Facebook becoming more popular than what they are. I am sure they don’t want to see that happen.
If Facebook were to get into search, offer a decent adsense alternative, and other webmaster types of tools and services it would really tick Google off. It would be tough for them to compete with Google if they didn’t have solid products and tools. Will we see that happen? Doubtful, at least not in the short-term, but who knows down the road.
I should point out that the #3 Alexa ranked site is YouTube by who else…Google of course. So really if you were to tally up all the Google sites they would blow Facebook away in terms of traffic rank. But, like I mentioned in the opening paragraph that really isn’t a fair comparison at the moment. One should be comparing Facebook to Google Plus, and when you do that Facebook blows Google Plus away when it comes to traffic and use.
One of the things that Google Plus lacks is the ability to make pages private. I think if they had this ability they might see more users signing up. They give you the option of setting your page so search engines can’t or won’t index it, but as long as someone knows the URL/address they can still view it. Which also means that if someone links to it people can visit it. No big deal for some people and especially business pages, but not every average regular visitor wants their page visible to the entire world.
I am not that fond of Facebook’s privacy settings and controls either because they can be very confusing to set the way you want them. In fact, it can be difficult to know who can really see your posts, but at least they have some privacy control and settings.