Google announced today a new experiment with their search results. In addition to the results brought up from the web, users can now receive results from email messages in their Gmail account. The results will show up in a sidebar set apart from the normal web results. It remains unclear exactly how this new functionality may be useful to end users, though I have no doubt someone will figure out a way to make it meaningful.
Along with the inclusion of Gmail results being served up, Google also announced some other features they are working on as part of this experiment in improving search results. They revealed an option for entering a string like [my flights] to produce a nicely formatted page showing flight data. The ability to search Gmail messages is probably integral to being able to then build this kind of functionality. Seeing Gmail results along with web results may just be a consequence of Google’s efforts to build some of these other search capabilities.
Participation in the experiment is only available to users who sign up for it. Two hurdles have to be overcome. First, it can only be used with @gmail.com accounts. Second, only English language accounts can join. Assuming you meet those requirements, you can sign up and at some point Google promises to notify you if you have been accepted and have access to the new search functions. Follow the source link if you are interested in giving the Google Search experiment a spin.