The Mixed Bag of Recent Google Media Coverage

We were looking around the Internet a little bit today and noticed a gaggle of wide-ranging Google stories.

A big newsmaker was the earnings announcement last Thursday. Besides the good strong numbers, the company also announced a stock split that has had people talking over the past few days.

“Cleverly, Mr. Page, along with his other co-founder, Sergey Brin, and the company’s chairman, Eric E. Schmidt, created the stock split so that Google could issue a special new class of shares to current shareholders. The catch: the new class of shares has no voting rights,” writes Andrew Ross Sorkin for the Times’ Dealbook section today.

In fact, the news about Google over the past several days has been like that — some good, some not so good, some in the middle.

In other news, Brin called out Facebook for being a “threat to Internet freedom.” This could’ve been a strong statement about Google, its value to Internet users around the world, and its perspective about how digital technology should proceed. Or it could be the talk of a company whose dominance is threatened, which is how this Business Insider story frames the situation.

In fact, another big story from the past couple of days is the $25,000 fine against the company for not being more forthcoming with the FCC about information Google collected with its Street Views cars. Google has apologized and said it deleted the info, but it’s a mark against the company, which already has privacy issues.

Then there was the Google+ redesign (clip above), which got three cheers from our colleagues at SocialTimes.  But, a new report from eMarketer, “Google+: Influencing the Integration of Search and Social,” reiterates the low user numbers on the struggling social network. Sure, Google+ could have an impact, if people would go to the site and hang out there. It was the elephant in the room even a couple of weeks ago at the PRSA Digital Impact Conference.

Still, photographers seem to be enjoying Google+, so there’s going to be a Google+ Photographers Conference. But besides that, it’ll be hard for Google+ to gain a foothold in the still-photo arena with Pinterest and Instagram hanging around.

Finally, we have word of “Project Glass,” Google’s venture into augmented-reality glasses (clip below, ICYMI). Who doesn’t love a futuristic new invention, eh? Right, virtual Tupac? But it has already spawned a crop of parodies. And there’s already possible competition from Oakley, which says it has been looking into just this sort of thing for athletes and has hundreds of patents.

So when you add up all the pluses, minuses, and neutrals, where does all this ink leave Google? The comments section is open.