Robert_Charlton - 8:47 am on Jun 18, 2011 (gmt 0)
...has a valid point and that it could be a way to mask their poor serps.
Addressing this point only... increasing speed has been a concern of Google's for many years. I don't know how anybody who's watched Google could miss that.
From Google's Technology Overview [google.com]...
Speed is a major search priority, which is why in general we don’t turn on new features if they will slow our services down. Instead, search engineers are always working not just on new features, but ways to make search even faster. In addition to smart coding, on the back end we’ve developed distributed computing systems around that globe that ensure you get fast response times. With technologies like autocomplete and Google Instant, we help you find the search terms and results you’re looking for before you’re even finished typing.