Google Gmail Gets New Features

  • December 13, 2005
Google's e-mail product, Gmail, last week began adding links to related links, maps, and other information based on the content of each user's e-mail in a sidebar to the right of the text, above the regular sponsored links. Google generates the sidebar by crawling the text of the user's e-mail and finding pertinent information in it--such as addresses and UPS tracking numbers--and linking them to helpful pages, such as a Google Maps search for the address, or the UPS package tracking page for tracking numbers.

In addition, the sidebar includes a number of "related pages," which display links to Google organic search results and Google news links salient to the content of the user's e-mail--for example, a commercial e-mail from Amazon.com promoting the new "Chronicles of Narnia" movie might be accompanied links to news stories about the film's box office debut or the controversy surrounding the movie's strong Christian overtones. This information sidebar operates on a similar principle to the AdWords ads that monetize the search giant's e-mail property. When a user receives an e-mail, Gmail appends sponsored links based on search terms culled from the text of the e-mail itself.

--Shankar Gupta

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