Seems kind of straight-forward to me. Google’s search engine algorithm is not as competitive as what can be derived from social platforms like Facebook. Their attempt to bridge the gap with G+ didn’t work. Consequently, faced with more competition from businesses able to do just as well as Google in the advertising market, the company is trying to move into a supplier of industry agnostic big data for other companies to develop their own goods and services. You know. The internet of everything.
Sounds like a sound strategy.
See the article What’s Driving Google’s Wild Moonshots? Desperation by Marcus Wohlson, Wired, 4/17/14.