homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google Gmail Advertising
Forum Library, Charter, Moderator: open

Google Gmail Advertising Forum

spam filter false positives

 1:32 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

def: false negatives (spam in your mailbox) or false positives (mail mis-marked as spam)

The Gmail spam filters seem to have changed recently. Just yesterday I had 15 false positives. That's a lot more than I've ever had before, and it really takes Gmail off my list as a usable service. Has anybody else noticed this?



 3:41 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've had problems with newsletters being false positives. There's a few highly read search engine newsletters that always end up in my spam filter.

The one issue I don't like about GMail, is that even if I create specific filters for these mails, they still end up in the spam filter. I'd like a way to say, 'this is never spam'.


 11:21 pm on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'd like a way to say, 'this is never spam'.

Drop them a note- it's quite a good idea.


 8:28 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

they filtered my adsense update email as spam, i think they where embarased.


 8:34 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

The one issue I don't like about GMail, is that even if I create specific filters for these mails, they still end up in the spam filter. I'd like a way to say, 'this is never spam'.

I reported this as a bug - if something triggers one of YOUR pre-defined filters then it is not SPAM by definition.

Tropical Island

 9:19 pm on Nov 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

We switched all our mail 3 days ago to go through Gmail and I have to say we are getting a lot of false positives.

It's in the range of 2 to 3 for every 50 SPAM e-mails.

That seems to be a high number when many of these e-mails are from individuals writing for reservations.

The other biggy is that all our PayPal payment notices are ending up in SPAM. With all the phishing mail for PayPal I can understand why this is happening although it doesn't make it any better.

As we carefully check all SPAM anyway it's just a little bump in the road from an otherwise great service. We haven't had a virus e-mail since we started.


 12:25 am on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

The thing is that false positives are next to unforgivable for a mail service. It's understandable if you're working on training some sort of Bayesian filtering system that learns as it goes along...you expect to have to check your spam box a few times. However, I've seen the same newsletters get dumped in the spam box every single day. Clicking on the This is not Spam button doesn't seem to be improving the results for me.

I like the Gmail interface, and the speed of the system, but if spam filtering actually forces me to read through all the messages to dig out false positives then that negates the value of the system for me as a whole. I don't want to waste time with spam, and I know that I can filter my spam out better than Google can. For me, I'd have to say that this issue is Gmail's Achilles heel.

I guess that all these people crowing about Gmail's spam filtering capabilities haven't had any experience with decent filters up until now. I've been using a system that gives me zero false positives, so I never deal with spam any more...other than deleting it off my system every so often. Gmail's spam filtering for me is a step backward.

Tropical Island

 12:38 am on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

In Google's defense, as you point out, they are not dealing with individuals but thousands of users who may be too lazy to stop newsletters they no longer want and just hit the SPAM button.

This was discussed in another thread about problems with AOL mail a few days ago.

The newsletter situation I can understand. What I can't understand is normal mail from Joe Blow asking about reservations that ends up in SPAM. This is not the case of someone else hitting a SPAM button on them.

As this whole system is still in Beta I can only hope that over time it will improve. Overall it's still a win for us.


 1:03 am on Nov 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm sure that the Gmail spam problem is an order of magnitude greater than what I have to face everyday...I'll certainly concede that. ;) However, I'm getting mail from family and friends which contain no URLs or top spam keywords which are also getting binned. I just found one from a colleague in which we had been writing back and forth about a simple slogan...that got binned mid conversation, but Gmail hadn't put any of the other messages into the spam bin. I could go on....and on.

I'd rather have spam in my inbox than mail in my spam.


 2:41 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm surprised to hear all of this negative feedback about gmail's spam filters. I have been auto-forwarding a copy of all my emails to a new Gmail account for several months now. I have been very impressed with the accuracy of the gmail spam filters. I could count on one hand the number of false positives I've had. And I'm pretty sure that the number of spam emails that has made it through the filters to my inbox is ZERO. These numbers are for a Gmail account with 1500 real conversations, and probably five or ten times that in spam that's been "deleted forever".


 10:57 am on Nov 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Until this morning I've been impressed with the spam filering ability of Gmail. Over the course of this month, I've had about 10 spam emails left in my inbox, and 0 misclassified as spam.

However, this morning I check my inbox and it's full of 237 spam emails. Waaaah. Looks like they turned off the filter. :(

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google Gmail Advertising
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved