The survey was conducted by Interbrand among more than 2,500 people from 99 countries. It asked respondents which brand they felt had had the most impact on them that year, whether good or bad.
Google, which went public in the summer of 2004, picked up more than 45% of the votes, knocking Apple off the top global spot. However, Apple did manage to beat Google into second place in local surveys of the US and Canada, riding on the success of new products including the iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano and iPod Video.
In 2005, the search engine launched Google Mini (around the same time that Apple unveiled its own mini product) and Desktop Search, which, like most Google product, falls under the "descriptive" school of naming. The quirky brand also treated us to Google Earth, arguably the greatest thing to hit the Internet since porn. And no doubt, many more delights are to come from Google Labs.
Gordon MacMillan, editor of Brand Republic which provides daily news for the advertising, marketing, PR and new media industries, says: "It would seem almost predictable for yet another survey to put Google as the number one brand, if the award was not well earnt.
Google is keeping the whole industry on its toes, threatening not just its immediate search competitors, such as Yahoo! and MSN, but media giants like News Corporation, with its continued innovation in all directions.
Just look at this year's buzz words: voice over IP, blogging, and video. All areas that Google is active in, with GoogleTalk and Blogger for the first two, and its recent video search tie up with Intel for the third.
Elsewhere, its acquisition of Californian-based radio advertising firm, dMarc Broadcasting, for $1.2bn provides another indicator of the threat old media faces from the internet and advertising in particular. The deal not only allows Google to add radio advertising to Google AdWords, but it suggests that Google could be positioning itself as a one-stop shop for advertisers.
With the Brand Channel survey putting Skype at third, it highlights the voice over IP buzz, which finally threatens to become a force in 2006 having been touted for several years as a technology that traditional telecoms firms should fear. Tesco's move into voice over IP last week cements that point."
Review by Abi Newman