I have no rational explanation for how Google has been behaving in the last year or so. If someone has, please share it with me.
For what it's worth, I'm not talking about anything that might be going on behind the scenes: workplace ethics, fair pay, (lack of) representation - Google seems to have a lot of problems in that regard, but while those things surely are important, it's not what I need to hear about. This is also not about specific products (for example the trainwreck the "Google+ sunset" has quickly become), but more about general problems Google has when it comes to their users. I'd like to give a range of examples, both for what worked in the past, and for what no longer does:
Back in the day, when I first created my Google account, I had a specific problem that needed to be solved. That problem was "too many mails taking up too much space, too much spam and no good options to search through all of that". Google had a solution to that problem: I let Gmail handle my mail accounts, and everything simply worked.
For a while, this would repeat whenever I had some kind of tech/data problem: navigation? Google Maps just works! Messaging? Hangouts just worked! Notekeeping? Google Keep just works! A huge photo library? Google Photos just works!
Basically, for years I could just trust Google to have good solutions to any problems I had that could be solved by some piece of software.
Now, this no longer is the case:
Google Maps keeps showing wrong information for my home area - and although I've joined the "Local Guides" program some years ago, have had tons of valid edits over those years with a minimal rejection rate, and even got a T-Shirt one year - whenever I now edit local businesses to correct opening hours or to rename them properly, these edits will eventually be reverted.
I'm handling some place-related notifications (like to-do or shopping lists) via Google Keep - and while they correctly pop up whenever I visit the place, they sometimes also pop up in the middle of the night when I'm far away from that place.
The Google Assistant news feed on my phone regularly shows me news items that are over a year old, and no amount of wiping away or even sending feedback changes this.
My Google Home devices still don't understand commands that I'm giving on a daily basis (like playing a certain radio station) half of the time - and although it eventually works after the third attempt, there's apparently no feedback loop that learns and tries to avoid these mistakes the next time. Also, the Home app claims that I can "play sleep sounds" as part of a bedtime routine that "will stop automatically" - but after waking up to these sounds still playing at 4am in the morning several times, I will just have to stop using that functionality.
This list goes on - but I want to spare you any more details. In the end, I will just have to admit that I'm losing trust in Google. Not the kind of trust where I believe that they won't sell my data to the highest bidder, I still trust them in that regard - but the kind of trust where I believe that they will continue to offer services that are actually useful to me.
This is what I don't understand, and what I'd like to see explained. What even is their current business model, if it makes sense for them to keep changing useful services into useless services? What's their end goal here? Should their motto be "Don't be stupid!" instead of "Don't be evil!"?