We have long preached about Google being a privacy vampire, finding any little way possible to monetize on every click you make. Why do you think so many of their services are “free” as in “cost no money”? Everything you put into Google is stored and your profile information is sold to whomever bids on it.
Searches? Why do you think you see ads for something you searched on weeks ago popping up in your results? Gmail? They absolutely scan it. Documents/Spreadsheets? Just like handing the keys to your office over to them.
Google will eventually kill every single service you care about, if they can’t find a way to directly monetize it with ads at a scale of billions. They’re institutionally incapable of being in the product or service business, because neither products nor services butter Google’s bread. Advertisement does.
He goes on to state what everyone who has needed to get help from them knows: Google support sucks, as he states: “Google has always been uniquely awful when it comes to customer service, because helping someone with a problem on Workspaces or even the Google Cloud Platform was never going to be as profitable as helping an advertiser carpet bomb your attention span.”
David goes on discussing the recent sale of Google Domains (which was a $180 million per year business) to the equally awful Squarespace, where you never really “own” your site. See: I Gave Up on Squarespace and Built My Own Photo Website from Scratch where the author makes the case:
“…in terms of content management, you may own your content but you really don’t own your website. Yes, you have a domain name, which you technically own and can take elsewhere, but your content is supported by a template that is managed and owned by Squarespace. Squarespace is a business and like any business, it could shut its doors tomorrow. Leaving you with very few options to recover your efforts in the event of a worst case scenario. To be fair, Squarespace does allow you to download your “site”, but not in any way that would make it easy to seamlessly transfer that content to another provider.”
Along with that SquareSpace does the same sneaky thing Instagram and Facebook) do: they strip any copyright management information (CMI) from your images essentially removing your actual “ownership” of your files.
As Hansson writes about Google killing off Nest Secure (after buying it to see inside and outside your home) but there a very vast graveyard of the 288 products (so far) Google has killed off with Google Domains currently sitting at the top. (And yes, Google+ is on that list).
To conclude, as we often say, “if something is free then you are the product.” And that seems to continue to ring true.