googlelogo.gifGoogle, the giant search engine in Mountain View, is about to surpass Cisco to become the valley’s most valuable company.

It has passed IBM to become the third most valuable technology company, behind Cisco and Microsoft. Google’s stock is above $475 per share, bringing its total market worth ($475 x total number of shares) to $145 billion, surpassing the total value of IBM at 139.5 billion. Now it is breathing down the neck of Cisco, which has a value of $147.5 billion.

And you thought last week’s Googleplex solar power announcement was big? — Google just announced a 1.6 MW solar system it is building for the Googleplex. That makes it the largest corporate installation in the U.S. Now we learn Google really wants to install 10MW, to make the company “carbon neutral.” There’s a good summary of Google’s other goals via a leaked internal memo at the Google-watching blog called Google Blogoscoped.

google giant.bmpBut….Google is dropping its hiring standards — In the U.S., everyone graduates from college with a so-called GPA. A 4.0 is perfect. A 3.0 is pretty good. The rap on Google is that has required a 3.0 GPA for its applicants, as part of a notorious and excruciating set of high hiring standards. Until now. Google has dropped the requirement for sales people, according to John Battelle — apparently because it can’t find enough smart ones. Hmm, is Google saying something about sales people, or about the job market right now? Or that it’s just getting too big? We’ve pinged the Google press team to see what they say about this.