Google is trialling an expansion of its search service to include Gmail messages, the company has announced.
The limited trial was announced by Amit Singhal, Google’s search chief, who described the move as the latest step the firm is taking towards a search engine that understands exactly what users want.
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"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," he wrote in a post on the official Google blog.
"We think you shouldn’t have to be your own mini-search engine to find the most useful information – it should just work," he said.
The blog post also highlighted Google's Knowledge Graph, introduced in May, and Voice Search, recently added on Android and soon to be available for Apple's iOS.
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"These are baby steps, but important ones on our way to building the search engine of the future – one that is much more intelligent and useful than it was just a few years ago," Singhal wrote.
Participants in the Gmail inclusion trial will be able to click on links in search results to expand and view relevant emails.
"For example, if you search for 'my flights', we will organise flight confirmation emails for any upcoming trips in a beautifully easy-to-read way right on the search results page," Singhal wrote.
There is no risk of a person's emails from Gmail ever being seen in anyone else's search results
Gmail results will appear on the right hand side of the search results page and will only be available to the single user whose email account is being included in the results, he told the Telegraph.
Singhal also said Google had developed a totally secure and private line which meant there was no risk of a person’s emails from Gmail ever being seen in anyone else’s search results.
Google has not indicated when search including Gmail will be available to all users of the service.