Google integrates search across services including Gmail, Drive, Calendar

The testing of the new expanded personal search feature started Monday

Google started Monday the trial of a personalized search feature that allows Gmail users to search from the web application results from other services such as Google Drive and Google Calendar.

Searches on Google.com will also include relevant information and messages from Gmail and also files, documents, and spreadsheets from Google Drive, which will show up on the right hand side of the results page.

"When you're looking for something, you should be able to find what you need quickly and easily without needing to think about where it might be, whether it's in your email or out on the public web," Google software engineer, Bram Moolenaar, said in a blog post on Monday.

The field trial is an extension of testing started in August that integrated Google search with Gmail search. At the request of users who tested the integration of Gmail and Google.com search, Google is now adding other services that can be searched simultaneously, Moolenaar said.

The best answer to a search question is not always a single entity, but a list or group of connected things, Google said in a blog post in August. "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," it added.

The current trial is only accessible in English and limited to @gmail.com addresses, and is not available on Google Apps accounts, Google said. Users have to opt in for the field trial on the updated trial page.

Searching a person's mailbox and Drive as part of a Google search may however raise privacy concerns, making it likely to stay as an opt-in service. Google has given participants the option to come back to the opt-in page at any point to leave the trial.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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John Ribeiro

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