Google No. 1 in Corporate Reputation Survey; Microsoft Ranked 16th

Google is the most reputable company in the United States, according to a recent survey by market researcher Harris Interactive.

For its most recent "Annual RQ Summary Report," Harris asked more than 30,000 survey participants to list the 60 "most visible" U.S. companies, and then to rate the reputation of each company according to 20 attributes that make up what Harris calls the "reputation quotient" (RQ).

Improving from its No. 3 ranking in 2010, Google topped the 2011 survey with an RQ of 84.05 (an RQ above 80 is considered "excellent"). Survey respondents gave Google high marks in the categories of Social Responsibility, Products and Services, Vision and Leadership, Financial Performance, and Workplace Environment.

Other technology companies to place in the top 10 are Apple (No. 5), Intel (No. 6) and (No. 8).

Notably missing from the top 10 is Microsoft. The company was ranked No. 7 in 2010, but fell to No. 16 in this year's survey. However, Microsoft's 2011 RQ of 80.16 is slightly improved from its 2010 RQ of 79.83.

Survey respondents did list Microsoft as among the top 10 companies they would "definitely" invest in at some point. Microsoft's corporate communications also rated well; 41 percent of respondents gave Microsoft positive ratings in "transparency," and 59 percent gave it positive ratings in "consistency."

Microsoft also has the distinction of being one of only nine companies on the list to have scored an RQ of 75 or higher for each of the past 10 years, according to Harris.

Technology companies appearing lower on the list are Facebook (No. 31) and Dell (No. 37). Overall, however, technology companies fared well in the Harris survey, with a combined 75 percent of respondents rating tech companies' reputations as "positive." In comparison, the next-closest sector, retail, earned a "positive" rating from only 57 percent of respondents.

Below are the technology companies listed in this year's Harris report and their RQs:

1. Google (84.05)
5. Apple (82.05)
6. Intel (81.94)
8. (81.14)
16. Microsoft (80.16)
25. Hewlett-Packard (76.43)
26. IBM (76.27)
31. Facebook (74.12)
37. Dell (71.9)

The 2011 "RQ Summary Report" is available for download here (registration required).

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.