And the World's Most Valuable Brand Is…

Google became the world's most valuable brand this year, while Coca Cola dropped out of the top ten global brands for the first time, according to the 2011 Brand Finance ranking of the most valuable 500 brands across the globe.

Google's brand value was estimated at $44.3 billion, pushing it up one rank to the top position, while Microsoft, with a value of about $42.8 billion, advanced from the fifth position it held in the 2010 rankings, Brand Finance said in a statement.

"From a global perspective, five of the top ten largest growers are technology-related companies, reinforcing the importance of embracing technological innovation to give a seamless, value-enhancing brand experience," David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, said in the statement.

Wal-Mart, which held the top position last year, ranks third this year, with a brand value estimated at $36.2 billion.

The top 10 places were dominated by US companies, with one exception: UK telecommunications companyVodafone, whose brand is valued at around $30.68 billion, and which is also the world's top telecoms brand.

Coca Cola , with a brand value estimated at $25.8 billion, fell from the third spot to 16.