It's about time. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is finally joining the S&P 500 family. Sure, just a few months ago, many figured that Google was more likely to hit $500 a share than receive an invitation to be part of the most popular market gauge, but things can change awfully fast on Wall Street. This may not be Google's ideal 500 target, but it will do just fine for now.

Google had gotten off to a blazing start in its brief public life, until it finally let the market down with a negative earnings surprise for its December quarter. That came after the country's most valuable online company had blown the market away in its first five reports as a public company. Investors got nervous. Shares that had peaked at a little more than $475 began to dip into the $300s. This was still a substantial return for lucky investors who got in at the $85 IPO back in August 2004.

Over the past year, as various firms in the S&P were acquired or succumbed to fiscal irrelevance, an index-worthy Google had been passed over for a spot in the 500-room inn in favor of companies such as Lennar (NYSE:LEN), Patterson (NASDAQ:PDCO), and Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFMI). There's nothing wrong with those particular companies, mind you. Whole Foods is even a Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter service recommendation. It's just that as Google became the only online advertising bellwether that matters, and with its market cap hitting 12 figures, it was a travesty for the company to be excluded from the ranks of the 500 best indicators of the stock market's fiscal health.

Come on in, Google. Mind your head on the way in. Act like you belong here, because -- well -- you do.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a huge fan of Google; if not for, it would be his home page. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.