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The search giant edges the software maker to finish first in a poll of Britain's most popular brands and is also named the No. 1 global employer

Google has beaten Microsoft to be named the UK's most popular brand in 2006. At the same time it has won plaudits as the best global company to work for in 2007.

Microsoft came second with fellow tech companies Nokia coming fourth and Vodafone tenth in the top 10 of the most popular UK brands for 2006, according to research from Millward Brown.

Google was named as the number one place to work in 2007 for offering staff benefits including free meals, a swimming spa and doctors available onsite for free health check-ups, according to a top 100 poll in Fortune magazine.

Microsoft failed to score as well as it has in the past, and was ranked as the 50th best company to work for in 2007.

Google also hit the top spot as the brand perceived as 'growing more popular' in 2006, with social networking site MySpace snapping up the sixth spot under the Millward Brown research.

Peter Walshe, global brand director at Millward Brown, said Google was propelled to the top position because of its ubiquitous presence, brand strength and the amount of media coverage it receives.

Despite topping the brand charts, the search giant is famous for not doing any traditional advertising.

Top 10 most popular UK brands in 2006

1. Google

2. Microsoft

3. McDonald's

4. Nokia

5. Tesco

6. Coca Cola

7. Colgate

8. Nescafé

9. Ford

10. Vodafone

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