You know how you get suggestions on ... the query you're typing into a Googlish search box? That suggestion list just became context-sensitive, more personalized, and more likely to send you to your destination without ever seeing a page of search results.All it takes is one ad, the right ad in the right place.
Oh, and you'll see advertising in that box, too. If you never see a results page, you might still send revenue Big G's way.
Yahoo recently promised to kill the typical "10 blue links" results in favor of more dynamic presentations. Google immediately took that idea one step further and did away with results altogether for many searches.
While Yahoo, Microsoft's MSN/Live/Kumo/whatever, Time Warner's AOL, and IAC/InterActiveCorp's Ask.com depend on exposing users to as many ads as possible by keeping them on their sites, Google is going the other way. All it takes is one ad -- the right ad in the right place -- and Google's cash flow is secure.
Long ago, when I was at Amazon working on personalization, we used to joke that the ideal Amazon site would not show a search box, navigation links, or lists of things you could buy. Instead, it would just display a giant picture of one book, the next book you want to buy.
When you overwhelm people with choices, the important becomes lost in the mediocrity. Showing as many ads as possible just encourages ad fatigue. The focus of web advertising should be on getting the right ad in the right place. The focus should be on relevance.