In the battle of the technology giants, Google beats out Apple in basic favorable ratings by 82 to 74 percent in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Facebook comes in with a 58 percent favorable rating. Upstart Twitter has yet to make a similar impact among technology companies. About a third hold favorable ratings of Twitter, with just as many unfavorable ratings and holding no opinion of the company.

Google, the eponymous search engine company that just released a video about “Google Goggles,” is in a particularly enviable position. More than half — 53 percent — have strongly favorable ratings of the company. Just 9 percent feel unfavorably.

Apple, the world’s most valuable company, is considerably lower than Google on the intensity scale, with 37 percent having “strongly favorable” impressions.

Over the past five years, Google has made significant strides in public popularity. A January 2007 Pew Research Center poll pegged Google’s favorable ratings at 73 percent, just below rivals Microsoft and Dell. Since then, Google has risen to the top among tech companies, more than doubling its number of strong supporters, shooting up from 24 percent to 53 percent.  

Apple’s been steadier over that same period. In the 2007 Pew poll, 71 percent rated it favorably, similar to now, although positive intensity is up 20 points for Apple.

Google, Apple and Facebook attract majority favorable ratings across most all demographic and political groups, with Twitter lagging behind.

There are no real partisan gaps in favorable ratings across the four tech companies, but there are some differences by ideology. Liberals are more favorable toward Google, Apple and especially Facebook than are moderates and conservatives.

Facebook and Twitter are viewed more favorably by women than men, with no such gap for Google or Apple. Younger adults, ages 18 to 29, are more favorable than are senior citizens toward all four companies. More than half of all seniors expressed no opinion about Twitter, the highest level of unfamiliarity of any demographic group for any of the tested companies.

Socioeconomic differences are apparent too. People with college degrees have higher favorable ratings of each of the companies than their counterparts without college degrees. People with higher incomes look more favorably on Google and Apple than do those with lower incomes.

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