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Google to join S&P 500

As it dominates UK search...
Written by Sylvia Carr, Contributor

As it dominates UK search...

Google's blue-chip status is now secured, as Standard & Poor's has announced it will include the company on its S&P 500 stock index at the end of March.

The search company shoots into the index's top 20, an impressive feat considering it was founded seven and a half years ago and floated less than two years ago. With a market cap of just over $100bn as of market close yesterday, it will be the 19th largest member of the S&P 500.

Google will replace Texas oil company Burlington Resources, which is being acquired by ConocoPhillips, and will officially join the S&P 500 after close of trade on 31 March 2006.

Shares of Google rose nine per cent in trading after hours yesterday and more buying is expected as many mutual funds are based on the index.

Google is by far the most popular web search option in the UK. During February nearly three-quarters of all web searches in the country utilised its search engine, according to market analyst WebSideStory.

That's higher than the US average for the month (55 per cent) and the worldwide average (62 per cent).

The rest of the search providers all hold single-digit portions of the UK market. They are, in order: Yahoo! (nine per cent), MSN (five per cent), AOL (four per cent) and Ask - formerly Ask Jeeves - (two per cent).

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