Google’s trialling a new search feature that display results from a user’s emails alongside those from the web. It’s also launched its Knowledge Graph service worldwide.
Only a million people worldwide will be able to sign up for the trial, which is available only in English and for @gmail.com addresses.
“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,” says Amit Singhal, SVP for Google Search.
“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.”
Google’s also, as promised, extended Knowledge Graph to the rest of the world. First launched in the US in May, it’s a database of over 500 million people, places and things, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these objects.
Knowledge Graph aims to work out exactly what you’re after – deducing whether a search on [rio], for example, is aimed at the Brazilian city, the recent animated movie or the casino in Vegas. Results are displayed on the right-hand side of the search page.
“Finally, the best answer to your question is not always a single entity, but a list or group of connected things. It’s quite challenging to pull these lists automatically from the web. But we’re now beginning to do just that,” says Singhal.
“So when you search for [california lighthouses], [hurricanes in 2008] or [famous female astronomers], we’ll show you a list of these things across the top of the page.”