Google has announced it is releasing a feature which will enable the emails in your Gmail account to be displayed in your Google search results. It is thought that email results will be separate from the ‘normal’ search results and will instead be displayed in a separate box on the right of the search page. If Google deems the email to be particularly relevant, it may even place it at the top of your search results.
So What Does This Mean?
Google has been trying to personalise its service for a while now, in an attempt to keep up with social networks like Facebook. Social platforms revolve around PEOPLE rather than the keywords and links that search engines rely upon. Google is very aware of the threat of losing people to the social ‘revolution’ and this latest feature is clearly Google’s attempt to compete on a more personal level.
What about my Privacy?!
Google’s encounters with running a ‘bit close’ to privacy laws have been well documented, not least their adventures into Google Buzz which inadvertently revealed personal data from people’s Gmail accounts.
There have obviously been grumblings already about people worried about privacy but what is important to remember about this latest feature is that it is only being tested by people who sign up. Google are limiting the test pool to a mere 1 million Gmail users. If you’re interested in taking part in the trial you can sign up here – https://www.google.com/experimental/gmailfieldtrial.
If you choose to take part, you will obviously only be shown results from your OWN Gmail account, definitely NOT results from other peoples’ accounts(!)
If the trial takes off, scenes like this might not be too far from the truth in years to come!
Is there a reason Google is doing this?
So why is Google doing this you might ask? The answer is simple… money. The more people Google can attract to its search engine the more advertisers it is also likely to attract, and this is where Google generates its revenue.
So what do you think? Will you be signing up a take part in the trial? A step too far by Google? Let us know in the comments!