Who says it serves you better results? If I type in "tea", am I searching for Tealuxe in Harvard Square or am I searching for the botanical and scientific material on a common drink or am I searching for recipes? The new "social+local" Google biases my results towards the former.
A search engine used to be a tool for reaching out into the world and finding something new. Now it searches through what I already know? What's the point in that?
Search engines were never a content discovery tool for me. I use HN, Twitter, Facebook for that. Some others use Digg, Pinterest and Reddit. When I search on a search engine, I am looking for a solution to a question that I have.
The argument that "it's a business" is weak and not very helpful.
Google makes its money from advertising, but in order for it to place ads it needs to serve relevant results; serving "tailored" results because they generate more clicks is short-sighted (well, that's the argument anyway). If people become so distrustful of Google that they stop using it, and use a combination of DDG or Wolfram Alpha for example, then there will be no more ads for Google to serve.
We're admittedly very far from this, but the fact that high-profile people such as PG start to complain about it publicly (and not just old anonymous grumps like me) should make Google think.
"It's a business" is a weak argument, but potentially a helpful one. Your optimal search experience generally won't line up with theirs. In retail, for example, there are all kinds of tricks used to keep customers in the store as long as possible without making the experience so unbearable that customers just won't come anymore. So if you go to the grocery store for some fruit and vegs and yogurt, you will need to visit opposite ends of the store, through the seasonal items and past racks of candy, because this apparently results in increased sales. If they were optimizing for you, they would have the basics near the entrance, and the Peeps and cinnamon brooms at the farthest corner. They might still have the best produce in town, but as they figure out how to wring more money out of their customers (on average), the experience becomes grating for some portion of their clientele.
Google is not an ad company. People just like to say that because they think it's clever or surprising or something. Google does not produce ads. They sell ad space. So does Facebook. So does NBC. These are product companies selling ad space.
I'm saying the search engine, email, phone OS, and social forums are Google products which are just tangentially related to their advertising business. It would be interesting to know what the real split in revenue is in the discussion about what their real "product" is.