You Need Not Obfuscate Your Gmail Address

It’s common practice to put your email address on a website in an obfuscated form like so:

joe [at] gmail [dot] com

or some variation of that. I recently realized that such contortions are no longer necessary. In fact, they are now a bad idea. Why?

First, Gmail has gotten really good at filtering spam. Extremely good. I probably get less than one spam email per month in my Inbox. Therefore it doesn’t matter if the spammers get my email address. They can send me all the spam they like; I won’t see it.

Second, do you really think the spammers are fooled by such obfuscation? It’s not that hard to search for common obfuscations and parse them (or to convert an image to text using OCR software).

Third, I want people to be able to contact me without any fuss. They should be able to copy and paste my email address directly from the web to their email client. Better yet, they should also be able to click on my email address to launch a new email (to me) in their email client, like so:

which is accomplished by putting the address in HTML like this:

⟨a href=“”⟩⟨/a⟩

A friendly human.