Google : Alphabet Inc (US)

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In the space of just a few short years, Google knocked Microsoft off its throne to become arguably the world's most powerful - possibly the most feared - technology company with involvement in a vast array of different areas. The company describes its mission as "to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible". To that end it has built upon its core offering to spin out a kaleidoscope of additional services, ranging from global mapping and Android mobile software to healthcare research and driverless cars. Uniquely, for now at least, virtually all its add-ons are free to use, paid for by the awe-inspiring success of the company's advertising programme. Google may not be the world's biggest online company by revenues (that's still Amazon) but it's the most valuable by far with a market value of over $460bn by mid 2015. Yet Google's position at the top of the digital advertising tree is under threat from an even faster-growing business, Facebook. At the same time, its steps into hardware development have so far been patchy. In 2011, the group took steps to monetise Android by acquiring one of its first licensors, US handset manufacturer Motorola. Less than two years later, though, it sold that business on to Lenovo of China after failing to boost performance. Its Google Glass computer-powered eyewear also failed to find a ready audience. In 2015, the group announced plans to restructure, splitting out its more fanciful research-based operations as separate units under the umbrella of new parent company Alphabet Inc.

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Who are the competitors of Google? See Media Sector. Also see Best Global Brands ranking

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Adbrands Company Profiles provide a detailed analysis of the history and current operations of leading advertisers, agencies and brands worldwide, and include a critical summary which identifies key strengths and weaknesses. Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. Subscribers may access the following website links:

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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Jan 2018: Eric Schmidt is to step down as executive chairman of Google parent Alphabet Inc, though he will remain a member of the board. He was appointed as CEO of Google in 2001 to - as the New York Times put it - "provide what amounted to adult supervision for the company’s young founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin". As they became more adept at managing the business, he was promoted to executive chairman in 2011. The group is expected to appoint a new non-executive chairman.

Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Dec 2017: Ads of the Week: "Year In Search 2017". What a year it's been! And still two weeks to go. Let's hope there's nothing too important still to be added to this fine round-up of the past 11 and a half months of Google searches from 72andSunny and Google Brand Studio. It serves as a fitting memorial to the many terrible events that have taken place, but ends with an upbeat message of hope. How indeed do we move forward? 

Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Dec 2017: The advertising crisis affecting traditional publishers continued to worsen during 2017 as their share of digital spend slumped. According to industry watcher eMarketer, Google and Facebook between them siphoned off 63% of US digital advertising expenditure this year, up from 58% in 2016. The share of the next three digital publishers also increased. Microsoft and Verizon's Oath each accounted for just under 12% in 2017 and Amazon for a little over 5%. That left a measly 8% of spend to be shared out among everyone else. And the situation is not expected to get any better, with Google and Facebook expected to top 65% next year, and Amazon 7%.

Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Sep 2017: Interbrand published the 2017 edition of its annual Best Global Brands ranking. Apple and Google retained the top two places and other digital disrupters continued their ascent up the charts at the expense of old-school brands. At valuations of $181bn and $142bn respectively, a gap of more than $60bn separates Apple and Google from any other brands. Coca-Cola remains among the top five, but was pushed out of the #3 slot by Microsoft and is also challenged at #5 by Amazon, whose valuation increased by 29% year-on-year. That jump was beaten only by Facebook, whose 48% surge pushed it into the Top Ten between Samsung and Toyota on one side, and Mercedes-Benz and IBM on the other. The highest new arrival among the 100 was Netflix at #78, with Salesforce and Ferrari entering among the 80s. They took the place of outgoing brands MTV, Xerox and Ralph Lauren.

Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Sep 2017: Google took steps to bring back smartphone development inhouse for the first time since it offloaded Motorola to Lenovo in 2014. It has agreed to acquire a large chunk of struggling mobile manufacturer HTC's hardware design and development business, specifically the part that works on its Google Pixel smartphone, previously produced under contract. No manufacturing assets are included in the deal, but around half of HTC's research & design team - some 2,000 employees - will transfer to Google. The price tag was $1.1bn, equivalent to more than half of HTC's undisturbed market valuation. The Taiwanese manufacturer has seen its share of the mobile sector plummet in recent years as a result of the rapid growth of low-cost Chinese brands, from a high of almost 9% in 2011 to less than 1% last year. It will continue to manufacture the Pixel under contract, and a small range of its own smartphones, but is expected to shift the focus of its existing operations towards its well-regarded VR headsets.

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