Google is the top global brand for 2 years running released its brand ranking for 2006, and Google sat on top for the second year in a row. Out of the top 20, internet companies occupy 5 spots:

Google: #1
Youtube: #3
Wikipedia: #4
Skype: #7
Yahoo!: #11

For 2005, 6 internet companies occupied the top 20:

Google: #1
Skype: #3
Yahoo!: #7
Firefox: #8
eBay: #9
Amazon: #15

From 2005 to 2006, Youtube and Wikipedia burst into the scene, Skype and Yahoo! dropped some, Firefox, eBay, and Amazon dropped out of the top 20 altogether.

This is another piece of evidence that 2006 was the year of social networking. Both Youtube and Wikipedia allow users to contribute to content, and thus their popularity. Looking forward, though, I see both of these companies drop in ranking for this year, as Wikipedia’s growth has been slowing during the last quarter of 2006, and Google’s acquisition of Youtube will eventually affect Youtube’s brand equity.

I do expect to see 1 or 2 internet names show up in the top 10 for 2007. It will most likely continue to be a social networking-type site, one that transcends language (or does a very good job of internationalization), and it will not be a video-related site.