Google shares closed at an all-time high Monday, lifting the company past… (Tomohiro Ohsumi / Bloomberg…)
Call it the revenge of the search giant.
Google surpassed Microsoft to become the second-most valuable technology company. Only its chief rival, Apple, is more valuable than Google among technology companies. Apple cruised past Microsoft in 2010, lifted by booming sales of iPhones and iPads. Google's other Silicon Valley rival, Facebook, has seen expectations for its commercial potential return to Earth along with its stock price.
On Monday, Google shares rose nearly 1%, or $7.28, to $761.78 in regular trading. They were also up slightly in after-hours trading. Now the race is on with Apple, which holds the honor of the planet's most valuable company.
Google got its start 14 years ago as a tiny search engine created by two Stanford University graduate students. It has risen to become the dominant force in online advertising and is even taking on Microsoft in software and operating systems. Microsoft makes most of its money from Windows and Office software on personal computers, but also competes with its Bing search engine.
Google lays claim to 66% of the U.S. search market, with Microsoft coming in a distant second at 16%. It’s also expected to surpass Facebook as the biggest purveyor of display advertising, according to estimates from research firm EMarketer. And its mobile ads will continue to rule the smallest screen, too, EMarketer says. Not to mention its Android mobile software, which powered 64% of smartphones in the second quarter, up from 43% a year earlier.
Google's stock is rising as concerns over Google's Motorola Mobility acquisition have begun to subside, as have concerns over how much advertisers are paying every time users click on their ads.
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