Google is a for-profit business so to some extent, the introduction of Instant search has to help Google make money and here's how Google plans to do it.
Like Microsoft, Google has now reached a point where the search engine has become its main competitor, it cannot increase its market share significantly and is experiencing the law of diminishing returns.
What Instant search will allow it to do is not only to decrease the time you spend on one search but also, and Google is betting big on it, that you will actually be carrying out MORE searches within Google over the same period.
In essence, Google is amplifying Search serendipity and converting what is essentially a serial process into a parallel one. The new Instant search will encourage people to explore more searches because it can be done effortlessly.
Those who have played with the new Google search will have noticed that you don't even need the search button now; it is irrelevant since the the SERPs automatically refreshes.
Indeed, and as mentioned yesterday, Google wants users to learn new tricks (using your keyboard only) in order to significantly reduce the 24 seconds that a human being spends on entering a query AND selecting a result from the SERP.
In comparison, Google's share of the total average time spent on a search query is only 1.1 seconds or four per cent and can't possibly cut that down. By cramming more SERPS per unit time, Google multiplies the chance that the user will come across the result it wants.
That's a very, very significant paradigm shift in the way people normally interact with the search engine. Google engineers told us that Instant search can save around 3.5 seconds on average per search query which translates in a 14 per cent reduction in the time per search.
We reckon that this can be cut down even more by making it irrelevant to access Google.com; expect Google to get put Instant search everywhere. I just hope it comes to Chrome's omnibox fast enough.