Google to Include Gmail Info in Search Results

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Google recently announced that they would be taking their mission of personalizing search results one step further by including your email information from Gmail in search results.

From the official Google blog:

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.

This is currently in field trial and is not available to everyone yet. If you are interested in signing up you can do so here. Once signed up, you must be logged in to your Gmail account while conducting a search. The Gmail results appear on the right hand side on a SERP (search engine results page) and you need to click on view emails or results to expand the actual emails.

Basically, if you search for something and there is related content in your Gmail inbox somewhere it will now appear when you are searching for something within Google. Google provided this example of how it would work:

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.

Since the announcement the biggest outcry has been regarding privacy and since this is a Google announcement, who’s surprised by that? As Google continues to personalize search results it also seems to get a little creepier with the way that it uses all of the information that we so willingly provide them with. The only way that emails will show up in search results is if you are logged in to Gmail, so according to Google, you should be the only one seeing it. However, that doesn’t take into account the fact that some people simply forget to sign out of their email account on shared computers.

For marketers, Gmail information within search results could mean an increased emphasis on email newsletter marketing. Getting into a Gmail inbox can now provide you with a greater chance to be found on a Google search results page.

The real question is, is this actually beneficial at all? If you want to find something within your Gmail, Google already provides a search feature within Gmail. For the people that like to keep their Gmail account clean and are prone to deleting emails, there isn’t much data to be served up anyway. It all goes back to the issues with search personalization overall. If Google continues to base your search results on pages that you’ve already visited, social posts that you’ve already seen, and now emails that you’ve already read- will you ever be seeing any new information?

Since it’s still in field trial, we don’t know exactly how or when this will roll out for everyone but what we do know is that it’s important to keep our eye on how the situation progresses.

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