Gmail gets improved search results based on recent activity, and contextual suggestions

Nov 29, 2022

Google introduced a new interface for Gmail at the beginning of this month. Now, the email service is rolling out an improved search experience for your inbox.

Gmail gets improved search results based on recent activity
Gmail introduces improved search results and contextual suggestions

The search giant announced an improved version of the functionality in July this year, focusing on personalized search suggestions and contextual contact suggestions. Gmail's search feature has usually been good, but when it displays several results for a query, it can become quite difficult to identify the content that you wanted to find.

The email service has had search filters, labels, etc. for a long time, to provide users a simpler way to narrow down the results with custom rules. The trouble is, not everyone uses these options,  because they don't know how to use them or are even aware of such options. This is probably the reason why Google wants to simplify the experience, while still providing better results.

The improved search feature in Gmail learns your search patterns, and uses it to filter the mails in order to deliver more relevant results. For example, if you searched for a specific contact's name, Gmail will remember that for subsequent searches. Instead of just looking at matches in last names, Gmail now analyzes the results that match the first name and email address of the person. It also takes into account your previous conversations with the contact, and how often you emailed them. This might be useful if you have multiple contacts with the same name, but only send emails to one of them. Gmail will recognize that your interactions with them are important, and prioritizes the contact as a top suggestion while you type your query in the search box.

Gmail's improved search also takes your recent activity in to account, i.e. it compares your recent searches to personalize the experience. There is no setting to tweak how the search function works, or to disable it.

There is a catch to the new feature. Gmail's contextual search will only work if you have enabled Web and App Activity in your Google account. You can manage the setting from this page. If you don't want to use the new search options, you may disable your account's web and app activity.

Share files via Google Chat

Google Meet now allows you to share files from Google Docs, Sheets and Slides directly from the Chat interface. Users can choose to grant all meeting attendees or select people, to access a document, spreadsheet, or presentation, to collaborate on it. Google Sheets has another quality of life change, the pivot table editor's side panel can be resized. You can resize when you create a new table, or if you want to edit an existing one.

A few weeks ago, Google rolled out some improvements for its office apps on Android, which allowed users to drag text and images from Google Slides into other apps. Other notable features that were added recently include full mouse support in Google Docs mobile app, and the ability to drag & drop files and folders in the Google Drive app.

Google will roll out the changes to Gmail, Meet Chat, and its office suite web-apps over the next coming weeks.

Gmail gets improved search results based on recent activity
Article Name
Gmail gets improved search results based on recent activity
Gmail's search results have been improved. It recognizes your recent activity, to provide relevant results and contextual suggestions.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Tachy said on November 30, 2022 at 1:54 am

    “contextual contact suggestions”

    Since we know everything you write and who you write it too, we suggest you discuss this subject with this person?

    That’s just creepy.

  2. TimeToFireYourDesigners said on November 30, 2022 at 1:33 am

    Except for the design, which is growing worse every year, I have no complaints about Gmail. It’s turned into a hideous, excessively rounded button monstrosity.

  3. 11r20 said on November 29, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    The Word is Out:

    Almost every day another person tells me they’ve gotten rid of ‘google’ or they’re workin hard to get ‘google’ out of their life.

    It’s difficult for many to figure out how to work outside the box <<>> the-matrix/5-eyes/FANG’s.

    Watching folks simplify n’ take back their lives is like watchin those Great old re-runs of “Green-Acres” in live time.

    11r20 from Texas

  4. userpasspass said on November 29, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    Yeah, exactly my problem

  5. Andy Prough said on November 29, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    Could get awkward.
    “Google, show me recent emails from my new girlfriend Brenda.”
    Google – “Here are some recent emails from your ex-girlfriend Sandra.”
    Brenda (looking over your shoulder) – “Who is SANDRA??? Why are you emailing her??”

  6. John G. said on November 29, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Nowadays all major email services may be used for everything. Even Google on Android allows to sign in with Yahoo mail (the best so far of all them, you can send every file you want). Thanks @Ashwin for this article, very interesting to discuss the limits of privacy, a big concern actually. :]

      1. John G. said on November 29, 2022 at 5:36 pm

        All of them are spying us, however at least Yahoo is more functional for productivity purposes so forth. :[

  7. Cor Invictus said on November 29, 2022 at 10:43 am

    “There is a catch”
    This should be a tag for every Google product article!

  8. Jojo said on November 29, 2022 at 10:42 am

    Speaking of GMail, are others experiencing a message “Trash cannot be emptied while offline.”?

    This has been happening to me for more than 6 months. I am obviously online (my computer is online 24×7 and is never turned off).

    This message will happen when I go to GMail trash and try to do a manual delete.

    I think Google is doing this on purpose because they don’t want emails deleted that they are using to generate advertising for you.

    1. Jojo said on November 29, 2022 at 8:41 pm

      Maybe someone can try and duplicate this by attempting to delete emails en masse from Trash (click on the “erase all” button.

      1. Jojo said on November 30, 2022 at 8:38 am

        I am not alone on his issue. It isn’t even something new.

    2. John G. said on November 29, 2022 at 10:51 am

      I deleted my GMail account years ago because it’s impossible to work with it for educational purposes. It’s the worst email service ever created, file attachments are a complete nightmare and random issues and errors everyday, and I meant everyday (e.g. “message not sent”).

      1. Jojo said on November 29, 2022 at 8:42 pm

        That doesn’t address the issue I raised but “thanks for sharing”.

      2. John G. said on November 29, 2022 at 9:59 pm

        @Jojo, I meant I solved my problems with Gmail deleting my account. I had issues everyday.
        Anyway, just try this:

  9. userpasspass said on November 29, 2022 at 10:19 am

    Is this even acceptable ? I mean they used your personal data.

  10. Yash said on November 29, 2022 at 9:47 am

    Have a Google account, web and app activity is disabled. So this feature is not for me.

  11. Michael K said on November 29, 2022 at 7:58 am

    I use proton mail. Gmail just didn’t feel right…

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