When Google's Spam Filters Fail...

Many of our users say the accuracy of our spam filter is one of the key reasons they love Gmail

The above is a quote from a blog post that Ela Czajka, a software engineer at Google blogged about a few years ago. And I'm forced to agree... Or at least would have, two years ago.

Over the past several months, I have observed the Google spam filters become either worse, or unable to keep up.

Now I am not someone who just says stuff without reason. In fact, I used to be a really big Google fanboy (and still am, to some extent).

Here's my reasoning: Over the past year and a half, I have seen legitimate mail end up in the spam folder and spam end up in my inbox.

Spam, to me, is simply mail I did not ask and which is of no use to me. If I clicked the 'Send me regular updates' option during the sign up process, it means that I want the mail and don't want it to go to the spam folder. Similarly, when services send me updates about me account, I don't want it to go to the spam folder (as you can see in the screenshot below, some emails regarding my domains ended up in the spam folder - this should NOT happen). However, if companies start sending me mail regarding products that I didn't ask for, it SHOULD end up in the spam folder.

Screenshots (I haven't set any custom filters of any sort):

The following is a capture of my spam folder. Notice how a large number of the e-mails are actually legit but still in the spam folder. Spam filter fail [hmm... Jeremy & Simon seems to be some sort of service I signed up for a long time ago... at least the provide an 'opt out' option]

Spam that was in my inbox but shouldn't have been: useless marketing

What about other Google services? As far as I can tell, Google doesn't have spam filters for other services. Chrome Webstore: Chrome Webstore spam Youtube : Youtube spam

Conclusion

As it is, I have moved away from GMail onto my website email id for most important email. I really think that Google should improve it's (once awesome) spam filters in order to prevent losing more users like me.

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