If history can be our guide, in about a month Business Week and Interbrand will publish their 2006 hitparade of the most valuable brands in the world.  For us this seemed to be the perfect occasion to take last year's list and look at the online relevance of these brands. The results are interesting to say the least.

We're going to let you judge for yourself (click here for summary report) yet from our perspective something's out of sync in the state of Denmark.

Especially if you consider there seems to be almost no correlation between the value of a brand and the degree in which it shows up on line (correlation 34%).    Superbrands with a high brand equity drop hard when it comes to online relevance, while  a smaller one, like Adidas, shoots to number 13 when you look at the way it appears online.

Sure, we are - once again - comparing apples to oranges, yet still feel there is a message in the numbers. 

But then again, we could be wrong.   That's why we'd like to invite you as a reader and especially the marketing and agency executives for each of the 100 companies listed to get in touch, comment, blog or voice an opinion about this ranking in any way you see fit.

Are we on to something, or are we seeing ghosts?

A word on methodology (a more thorough explanation is in the file):
 In the week of 19 June 2006, for each brand a manual calculation has been done of
- the number times a brand is mentioned in Google
- the number of times a brand is mentioned in Baidu
- the number of Technorati blogposts about the brand
- the number of links to the brand's dot-com (.com) website (URL Trends)
- the google pagerank for the brand's dot-com (.com) website
- the relative reach of the brand¹s website (as per Alexa ranking)
- the number of times the wording "I love (brand)" and "(brand) is great" appeared in Google
- the number of times the wording "I hate (brand)" and "(brand) sucks" appeared in Google (pardon our French, or should we say "American" ;-)

PS 1 Oh yes, for fun we also calculated the places AOL, Myspace, Netscape, Firefox and Linux would take.  The first three ended up around spot number 20, the latter on spot number 5. 

PS 2 A note for the research purists:  This ranking is compiled using online data as it's available (in which we all know that online "every figure moves" if you push it).  This means that both the methodology and the data quality can be improved.  If you find ways this can be done, please do not launch into a critique on inaccuracies, yet get in touch to help us make the ranking better.  Our goal is to make this ranking as representative as possible, so where ever feasible we will include your suggestions.  Full credit will be given for contributions made.

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