I know that the engineers at Google don’t need to take suggestions from me, but here it is anyway: I think it would be nice to have a way to notify people of how many unread Gmail emails they have from the Google search homepage. Preferably how many unread and how many unread since they last logged in, since many people keep unread messages for a while.
It’s simple, but I think it would be useful.
And yes, I know about the Gmail notifier, but this wouldn’t require extra software and would be used by more people.
From Google’s point of view, the benefit of this feature would be making its site even stickier (if that’s possible). If every time you go do a search you are reminded to check your Gmail, you’ll probably spend more time on Google-owned sites. And if you know that a quick way to check your mail is to go to your Google bookmark (home page in my browsers), you’ll go there more often, and once there, chances are good that you’ll click on Google News or do a search or whatever.