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Is Google finding life a little harder?

Well its latest quarterly results suggest it is, even though profits rose from $1.48n to $1.84bn its costs rose by a thumping 20 per cent.

According to the pundits this suggests that the company is reverting to research and development mode, with most of the extra costs accounted for by new people.

Executives at Google Towers in California seem to have decided that its hugely profitable search business (it accounts for around 65 per cent of searches worldwide, more in the US and Europe) is not enough to keep it motoring forward and that it needs a broader-based business offer.

This obviously includes things like developing its Android phone (still a horrible brand name) and competing harder in areas like mobile advertising with Apple.

There has been some good news for the company recently (apart from the pile of cash it makes) with the Chinese government’s decision to renew its licence in China after the company temporarily moved its search operation to Hong Kong in a dispute of censorship. Google has a relatively small share of the Chinese search market which, inevitably, will become the world’s biggest if it isn’t already.

But clouds on the horizon include the ever-emerging Facebook which many users are now using as a substitute for Google search and also email provision.

You never know, even the lumbering Microsoft might get its mojo back one of these days as it nurses its wounds from the launch debacle of the Kin phone.

And Google these days is just big. History shows that the bigger tech companies get the more time they have to spend on just running the organisation and other troublesome chores like dealing with governments and legislators.

So it’s not all blue sky for Google despite that tidal wave of money.

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