Tech Industry

Google passes Apple to become 'top global brand,' study says

The search giant earned an estimated $756.6 million in brand value through news outlets, social media, and Twitter last quarter, according to a new study.

General Sentiment, Inc.

Google led global industry in attracting "media value" -- a measure that attempts to put a dollar value on buzz -- in the second quarter, according to data from social analytics company General Sentiment.

During the second quarter, Google's coverage in online news media, social media, and separately, Twitter, helped it score $756.6 million in brand value, General Sentiment estimated in a report it released today. Apple, which inched out Google to take the top spot in the first quarter, only mustered $594.3 million in General Sentiment's reckoning. Microsoft took the third spot with $356.4 million, followed by Amazon and Hewlett-Packard. Those companies earned $331.4 million and $258.2 million in media value, respectively.

Media value is, as you'd expect, a rough measure. General Sentiment's study attempts to assign a "purchase equivalent value of a brand's exposure as determined by the sentiment, frequency, and exposure of news mentions and social dialogue." Positive news stories or mentions on social networks increase a company's media value, while negative mentions take it down. General Sentiment claims to analyze over 50 million sources to derive its data.

Taking the top spot in General Sentiment's study is nothing new for Google. The company lost the top spot to Apple for the last two quarters, but dominated the rankings prior to that. In the first quarter, Google lost to Apple because of all of the coverage surrounding the new iPad, General Sentiment said earlier this year. This time around, Google took the top spot for its own devices.

"Google regained the top spot in the Impact Media Value rankings thanks to buzz about new and improved products, including Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), the Nexus 7 tablet, the Nexus Q, and the Google Glass prototype," General Sentiment wrote in its report.

All told, eight companies out of the top 10 operate in the technology industry. Disney and FedEx were the only non-tech companies to make it in the top 10, taking the eighth and ninth spots, respectively.

That Google and Apple are vying for the top spot in some measure of brand or media value shouldn't come as much of a surprise. In fact, it's nothing new.

Back in May, Millward Brown Optimor's annual BrandZ study revealed that Apple was the world's most valuable brand, hitting $183 billion. Google, meanwhile, came in third place behind IBM, earning a brand value of $107.9 billion.