Google has expanded its search functionality by allowing users to trawl Gmail messages direct from its search box as part of a limited field trial.
Privacy in the new system will be assured by only linking results from the email account to a single user with results displayed in a separate table on the right of the results page with Google adamant that the system is totally secure and private.
Explaining the rationale behind the move Google’s search chief Amit Singhai wrote: “Sometimes the best answer to your question isn’t available on the public web--it may be contained somewhere else, such as in your email. We think you shouldn’t have to be your own mini-search engine to find the most useful information--it should just work. A search is a search, and we want our results to be truly universal. So we’re developing a way to find this information for you that’s useful and unobtrusive, and we’d love your feedback.
“So if you’re planning a biking trip to Tahoe, you might see relevant emails from friends about the best bike trails, or great places to eat on the right hand side of the results page. If it looks relevant you can then expand the box to read the emails.”
Users are invited to sign up to participate in the limited trial via google.com from today.