Google ranked as world’s most valuable brand

Google LogoGoogle has been ranked as the number one most valuable brand in the world, according to a new list of the top 500 global brands as determined by BrandFinance. Last year, Google was ranked number two behind Walmart.

Google’s brand value was put at $44.294 million, up from a $36.191 million valuation in 2010 — an increase of 36 percent for the Internet giant. Microsoft was ranked as the second most valuable brand with a $42.805 million dollar valuation, up from $33.605 last year. Walmart came in third this year with a $36.220 valuation.

BrandFinance determined brand value by compiling brand-specific financial and net revenue data and then using the information to assign valuation scores to individual companies. BrandFinance used data gathered on December 31 of 2010 to determine this year’s rankings.

Google’s brand rating of AAA+ was the highest on the list. Microsoft and U.K.-based telecom company Vodafone were the only other companies in the top ten to receive such a high rating.

Google rival Apple placed in the eighth spot, a big jump from last year when it was ranked at number 20. The Apple brand was given a $29.543 million valuation.

Google’s high brand value is indebted to the company’s overarching presence in the tech industry, which includes ventures like GMail, Google Docs, Google Maps, YouTube, the Android mobile operating system and an upcoming music service. Not all of Google’s projects turn a profit, but they’re nonetheless effective at enriching Google’s brand value.

Not all tech companies fared so well this year. Beleaguered mobile company Nokia saw its value fall from $19.558 million last year — and a number 21 ranking — to $9.658 million, good enough for 94th place.

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