Semantic Search in Email: Search Smarter

Semantic Search in Email: Search Smarter

Power of Semantic Search · Artificial Intelligence in Email · NLP · Deep Learning · Query Stream · Advanced Email · Future of Email Search

Phoebe Brown

Phoebe Brown | Jan 25, 2023 | 5 mins read

Search plays a crucial role in modern life, affecting everything from emails and web searches to contacts and other applications. The most commonly used search is Lexical search which is based on keyword matching. However, we shall explore an alternative approach – semantic search.

Semantic search greatly enhances the search experience by providing relevant and accurate results. It takes into account the context and meaning of the words used in the search query, rather than just matching exact words or phrases. This approach is particularly useful when searching through large amounts of text and can provide efficient and effective results.

Lexical Search vs Semantic Search: The Difference

Lexical search is based on the exact matching of keywords in a query to the contents in a document. It is a simple and fast method that can be implemented using standard text-matching algorithms.

However, lexical search is limited in its ability to understand the meaning of a query, and often returns irrelevant results. For example, if a user searches for “Apple”, lexical search will return documents containing the word “Apple”, regardless of whether the context is about the fruit or the company.

Semantic search, on the other hand, aims to understand the meaning behind a query and return results that are most relevant to the user’s intent. It uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to analyze the query and understand the context and intent behind it.

This allows for more accurate and relevant results, even when the query is phrased in a natural, conversational manner. For instance, if a user searches for “Apple”, semantic search will understand that the user is likely looking for information about the company and return results accordingly.

Limitations of Lexical Search and Why We Need Semantic Search

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Semantic search and lexical search are two different approaches to processing and understanding natural language queries. Both methods have their own strengths and weaknesses and they are used in different types of search applications.

Lexical search is a useful tool, but several limitations must be taken into account. The main concern is that it relies on matching exact words or phrases, which can result in missing relevant outcomes if the search query does not match the exact wording of the text being searched.

Additionally, lexical search does not take into account the context or meaning of the words, which can lead to the inclusion of irrelevant results.

Furthermore, lexical search can be computationally intensive when applied to large amounts of text, such as large databases or corpora. This is due to the fact that it needs to scan and match the query with every single text, which can take a significant amount of computational power and time. Furthermore, it can be less effective when dealing with misspelled words, synonyms, and variations of the search query. Moreover, it doesn’t support natural language queries, so it requires the user to have knowledge of the exact vocabulary used in the text.

Shortcomings in a nutshell:

  • Based on matching exact keywords or phrases.
  • It does not take into account the context or meaning of the words.
  • Not well-suited to searching through large amounts of text.
  • It doesn’t work well with misspelled words.

How Semantic Search can help improve Email Search

Searching through an email inbox can be a daunting task, as it often contains a large volume of data. The traditional method of searching, which involves using keywords related to the desired content, can be insufficient in finding the relevant results.

Imagine the convenience of being able to retrieve all of your pending bills by simply searching for “Show my pending bills” or easily finding an old ecommerce invoice by searching for “Show past purchases”. This is how effective semantic search is. It takes into account the context and meaning of the words used in the search query, rather than relying solely on keyword matches.

This approach can greatly enhance the search experience by providing more relevant and accurate results, making it easier to find the desired information in a shorter period of time.

Soon, users will be able to take advantage of semantic search in Canary Mail, an exceptional email client that is designed to help users stay organized and secure. The team is currently working on introducing this feature, so that users can seamlessly search for the information they need without having to rely on keyword-based searching. The app already offers a number of AI-based features such as Copilot, which can compose polished emails on the user’s behalf, and a smart assistant that can streamline tasks.

In addition to its advanced search capabilities, Canary Mail also prioritizes the security of its users’ data by offering end-to-end encryption for its emails. Additionally, it offers SecureSend and PGP Encryption features, which can be used to secure emails and ensure that sensitive information is protected. With its cutting-edge features, Canary Mail is an ideal solution for anyone looking for an efficient and secure way to manage their email.

Why Canary Mail

Canary Mail, a top-of-the-line email client, is designed to assist users in staying organized and secure. The app aims to take the burden of email management off the user and provide a way to compose polished and professional emails that mimic the user’s writing style. Canary Mail’s one-click unsubscribe feature enables the user to easily opt out of receiving spam emails and newsletters. Additionally, its bulk cleaner effectively clears unwanted emails, reducing the inbox clutter.


These are some of the advanced features the app has to offer. An added layer of convenience is available with a PRO Subscription, which provides additional features to meet varying needs. Canary Mail is dedicated to provide the best services to help you manage your communications effectively.

Variants: Free | Pro | Enterprise

Platforms Supported: Windows | Mac | Android | iOS



While semantic search can greatly improve the accuracy of search results, it is important to note that it requires well-refined algorithms. The implementation of these algorithms can be computationally expensive, as it requires the application of complex algorithms to understand the user’s intent and context of the query. Organizations should carefully consider the benefits and costs of implementing semantic search, as it may require additional efforts and resources.

Phoebe Brown
Phoebe Brown

As a British writer and productivity coach, I’m passionate about unraveling the intricacies of email, SaaS, and artificial intelligence. With a knack for making the complex simple, my work empowers individuals and teams to harness these tools for maximum impact.

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