Google Tops BrandFinance’s Global 500 Brands list

March 24, 2011, 2:08 PM UTC

‘Un-commercial’ efforts for earthquake victims and non profits are paying off in brand value.

When people ask what financial benefit Google (GOOG) derives from its efforts to help people get online in North Africa during a revolution or to find loved ones who’ve been affected by earthquakes, you don’t need to look much further than today’s BrandFinance top 500 list.

The search giant tops the list, displacing last year’s leader, Walmart (WMT).

‘Don’t be evil’ – Google’s dominance of the search engine sector means it tops the 2011 table. The company has repeatedly undertaken ventures that are comparatively un-commercial but have a positive impact on its brand rating (AAA+) which is the highest in the table. These actions include developing services help rescue efforts following the natural disasters in New Zealand and Japan and its growing not-for-profit arm.

Google’s brand value was raised from $36B last year to $44.2B.

Rival Microsoft (MSFT) moved into the number 2 spot while Apple (AAPL) also moved up 12 places to number 8:

Apple’s success continues as it moves up twelve places, supported by innovative design, a very loyal consumer base and well-executed marketing activities.

Nokia(NOK) suffered the largest fall in brand value – $9.9b as it gave up on its Symbian phone operating system and announced an alliance with Microsoft. Facebook entered the top 500 list with a Brand Value of $3.9B.

The Press release can be found here (PDF) and the full 500 list is here.

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