Along with an update to the Knowledge Graph, Google just started testing out a new experimental feature that incorporates emails into personalized search results on the main search page. These search results are just as private as they would be from the Gmail webapp, just in a different place. And for now, it is only on the English Google.com; not available on any other Google country domain. If you don’t like the idea of it the service is currently “opt-in” only, so there’s no need to panic.
To enable this feature visit the Gmail in personal search results field trial page. Once there, click the blue “Join the field trial” button that appears.
Changes won’t be instant. It could take a few minutes, or a few days. You’ll receive an official email from Google once the change has been applied. From what I’ve heard, the amount of time the activation takes depends on a combination of the size of your Gmail inbox and the number of people who’ve signed up before you that have yet to be activated.
Personally, I’m having trouble seeing the point of this feature. Google Search SVP, Amit Singhal, says “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.” Wait… what? Well, I guess this could be useful if you’re a forgetful person that is lucky enough to search for the right keywords to bring up a helpful forgotten email. Then again, it could be entirely redundant. What do you think?
On a side note, along with this update comes Airplane flight data pulled from confirmation emails received by your airlines. Just search for “my flights” to display them directly on Google. If you ask me, it seems like Google is trying to bring everything possible to its one main search page.