Google Beats Out Apple as the World’s Most Valuable Company at $229 Billion

BrandZ's annual study ranks the top 100 businesses

Alphabet—Google's holding company—is also the world's most valuable alpha dog.

Today, Millward Brown and WPP released their annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, which tracks the worth of the world's top brands. According to BrandZ, Alphabet leads the pack because of Google's growth in advertising money, growth in its cloud business and the company's constant innovations.

It's the second time the company has topped BrandZ's list in the past three years, after fighting Apple for the No. 1 slot.

According to BrandZ, Google's value hit $229 billion this year (up 29 percent year over year) while Apple's value dipped 8 percent to $228 billion.

Just two weeks ago, a separate report from media buying firm Zenith Media pegged Google as the world's biggest media player, controlling $60 billion in ad spend in the U.S. alone.

Similar to last year, Microsoft is the No. 3 most valuable brand in the world and is worth $122 billion. Facebook and IBM also ranked within the top 10 most valuable brands, meaning that half of this year's top 10 most valuable companies are tech brands.

In terms of retail brands, Amazon's 44 percent growth is particularly interesting. The online retailer jumped from No. 14 on last year's list to No. 7 this year. As a category, apparel is the fastest-growing vertical, increasing its value 14 percent in the past year, equivalent to $114 billion.

In explaining Amazon's growth, BrandZ noted that the ecommerce player has started producing its own content in the past year and has also built out a logistics network used for speedy one-hour delivery options for shoppers.

And while Starbucks clocked in at No. 21, the coffee chain's value has grown a whopping 49 percent—more than any other brand—in the past year. Part of that growth is from the launch of a mobile payment app that lets consumers order drinks and food before picking them up in-store.

Facebook's growth is also particularly interesting. The company's value has grown 44 percent in the past year, and this year is the first time that the social network has cracked the top 10.

Take a look at all of the top brands below.