Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Product and User Experience at Google gave a short, but extremely smart talk at Web 2.0 conference about the most significant thing that the company has learned its short history.
The answer was speed and this was an insight that came from consumer research experiments in search page design, where Google was looking to understand the optimal number of search results on a page.
Most web companies want to keep people on the page, they want it to be “sticky”, Google prefers that people spend less time, but do it more frequently. The cumulative volume is what builds the traffic and this comes from the consumer’s positive experience on the site.
According to Wikipedia, Mayer was the first female engineer hired at Google and one of their first 20 employees, joining the company in early 1999. in other words, she’s not only smart, but very rich, as well.