Google overtook Exxon for second most valuable US company

Google overtook Exxon as America’s second most valuable company on Friday, when its midday market cap topped $389.6 billion, leaving Exxons’ $389.3 billion in third place. Throughout the day the two companies switched from second to third place and then back.

To reach the company in the number 1 spot, Apple, which is valued at $464 billion, Google and Exxon have a long way to go. Microsoft comes in fourth at $303.5 billion.

However, unlike Apple and Exxon, Google’s product is unlimited. There is virtually no limit to how many searches people globally can make, but the amount of oil or computers, smartphones and tablets consumers can buy has a ceiling.

Investors and experts are today discussing how long it will be before Google grabs the number one spot.

Google has managed to increase its advertising income considerably by gathering data form its users and targeting ads more effectively.

Thanks to stronger advertising sales, Google profits increased 17% in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Tech companies dominate the scene today

In 1980, the top seven companies were either carmakers or in the oil & gas industry. The most valuable company in that year was Exxon, followed by General Motors, Mobil, Ford Motor, Texaco, Chevron Texaco and Gulf Oil.

According to the Financial Times, in the first quarter of 2007 the four most valuable companies in America were Exxon, General Electric, Microsoft and Citigroup, i.e. an oil company, a manufacturer, a tech company and a financial institution.

Today three of the top four are tech companies.

Exxon, which has been up there among the most valuable top ten companies for about eight decades, is gradually being pushed down by young tech firms, such as Google, which went public only ten years ago.

Google, which started off as a simple search engine, has grown into an international giant that today provides e-mailing, calendar services, news sections, mapping, and has recently ventured into fiber networks, mobile phone apps, robotics and even self-driving automobiles.

According to Market Business News, the two most valuable brands in the world are Apple and Google.