Google Universal search

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Google plan for the future: Universal search

The Google Search Event has started, and the big topic of discussion at the event is about the future of search. According to TheNextWeb, Google answered the question with, “Everyone who asks that question, knows the answer deep inside their heart. They’ve actually dreamt the search engine of the future already”.

Liz Gannes of AllThingsD asked the search giant when Google’s other products would get the “universal” search. The team responded by saying that Google Drive, Calendar and Docs are all on the “road map”.

What this means is that eventually, you will be able to search Google for everything the company knows about you, including things from your email or your calendar to make the search more contextual. While this may sound creepy in some Orwellian way, it could be a neat feature once implemented. Once all of Google’s products are integrated into a universal search, a simple search for something such as “trip” could show every email, Calendar entry and itinerary document that you have stored in Google’s cloud.

Of course, this could also bring in privacy and security issues. Leaving your Google account logged in on the wrong computer could compromise all of your mail, documents and calendar, among other things.

During the Search Event, it is becoming clear that the way Google sees the future of search is as an 'assistant' while you navigate the web. However, there are many hurdles in its way. “If we are going to build the search of the future, we will have to solve difficult technology issues like speech recognition and natural language”.

Google has announced that they will be running a field test to enhance the search experience for users by including Gmail in the basic search. It plans to offer this as field trial to a small number of users, reveals the official Google blog. The field test will integrate Gmail search results with the Knowledge Graph in Google Search. It is now available to only a small number of Gmail users in the U.S., who can sign up here. “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. So we’re developing a way to find this information for you that’s useful and unobtrusive, and we’d love your feedback. Starting today, we’re opening up a limited trial where you can sign up to get information from your Gmail right from the search box,” states the blog.

Users will have to type the word ‘Gmail’ in the query string. Also, the search giant plans to work on additional useful features. Google reveals that in case a user searches for ‘My flights’, the search engine will organize flight confirmation emails for any upcoming trips in an easy-to-read way right on the search results page. The feature will also enable the Knowledge Graph to show a real-time update of the flight status which will be a quick way to check whether the flight has been delayed.