The free publicity comes at a cost.
I don't think they're fooling anyone with this stunt. These big companies are part of the problem, offering their own sort of "fast lane" for advertisers in the form of SEO.
So even though this is "free" publicity, it's certainly going to have some costs in its effect on PR.
Lesson: Don't jump on the net neutrality bandwagon at the 11th hour. The Internet is awash with time stamps and a collective memory that will DEFINITELY notice if someone is flip-flopping to gain brownie points.
It would be nice to think so. Unfortunately, humans have a proven track record of great trouble remembering anything past what happened last week.
As such, I'm quite sure there will be many, many people taking this at face value and remembering that "Google stood up for us", forgetting entirely that Google has more data on our surfing habits than the NSA does.
Wow! Only 2 comments in 4 days....
Clearly the Commentariat either don't care or don't know. PP