that's a bad way to judge because the trend can be lead by members and moderators. For example, I read news on a certain political forum and it's owner has a habit of banning all that disagree on X so everyone left, either supports Y or acts as if they do.
However, people are wising up to Google master manipulator shticks. The book scanning or copyright stealing--under the guise of spreading knowledge--was the defining point. Now webmasters are seeing what Google is doing with ads, local search, youtube, forced personalized search (or spying /censoring), products ads, getting involved in every niche and see that Google is using their monopoly to squeeze average people out. Of course governments as well: Texas, US Senate, FTC and EU all have opened investigations in their tactics. Maybe the algo is being manipulated on purpose to slowly squeeze others out and to maximize their profits? Why should we trust Google when they say this and that? Because they say they're nice on their website? I wouldn't trust MSFT or Oracle, so why trust Google.
if it was about "users" they'd make "more local search" an option along with personalized search and instant search. Try disabling them and see how easy it is. It's about their profits, not 'users'