Google is gearing up to test out a search feature that integrates with Gmail.
The idea is that when a Google search-engine user types in a query, the results that come up will not only be from the public web, but also from their personal Gmail account. This means that if someone searches "best restaurant", the results may contain a previous email from a friend that mentions a particular restaurant.
This feature is still in its early phase, and Google is inviting 1 million Gmail users to test it on a first-come, first-serve basis. The trial is only accessible for queries made through http://www.google.com.
Interested participants are able to sign up online.
Google spreads Knowledge Graph worldwide
Google has also made its Knowledge Graph service accessible across the world.
First introduced to the US in May, Knowledge Graph is a database of over 500 million people, places and things that are connected in 3.5 billion ways. Knowledge Graph collates and displays information from the database that relates to a particular search query. The summarised information is shown on the right-hand side of Google's search-engine page, and can give users the answers to questions they haven't even asked yet.
As of tomorrow, Knowledge Graph will be progressively rolled out to users in other countries, including Australia, making Google search queries in English.
The product is a result of Google's acquisition of Metaweb two years ago. It also draws on a number of free online resources, including Wikipedia; the information it shows is shaped by what queries users are making through Google Search.
"We strongly believe we have to give the best locally relevant results globally," Google search senior vice-president Amit Singhal said.
Indeed, Google has attempted to localise Knowledge Graph so that the response from searching the word "chief" in the US, for example, will be different to when it is done in New Zealand.
For US users, Google Knowledge Graph will now have additional functions, such as a more detailed carousel on the top of the search page. The rest of the world is getting the basic version.
Google is keen to push the product to non-English searches, but said that it still had a lot of work to do in order to make that happen.
"We are working aggressively to take it beyond English, but this is a very hard challenge," Singhal said. He pointed out it is already extremely difficult to do in English, let alone in another language.