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I was just reading Conductor's new study [blog.conductor.com] that shows essentially no change that can be attributed to Google Instant. This also lines up with what I see across most websites.
In this particular example, it's highly likely that a person considering spending a few hundred dollars on a software product will research it - but a significant number of them would never have thought about searching for free downloads or torrents; and instead go straight on to become a customer.
things in this sector have taken a very sharp tumble since April / May this year!
I do feel the opposite. If i want a software i would first like to explore the "free download" and open source options before i decide upon buying one.I think most other users would do the same.Google is infact suggesting the "free" and "free download" options because there are significant number of searches for them.