Training Google Mail (or Gmail) for Spam Filtering

Email spam

Have you ever had the experience of someone insisting that they sent you an email, but you can’t find it, only to look later in your Spam or Junk folder and find it hiding there? Now why would your mail app decide one thing is spam and another is not?

Email providers like Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail invest a lot of resources into making their spam filters do a good job of accurately identifying what is valid email and what is not. Sometimes they do a good job of that, and sometime they get a little over-zealous. This can result in what is called a “false positive.” That’s where an email may contain one or more traits that make it look like spam. This can be as simple as the email containing the word “spam” in the title or in the body.

All email providers use a varied list of criteria to give each incoming email a score. If the score of the combined factors goes over a certain threshold, then BAM – it goes into the spam folder. The Verge has an article about how Google now uses Artificial Intelligence to block spam.

How come I don’t see the spam?

Your email client (such as Apple’s included Apple Mail) does have its own junk filter. But that only comes into play once you check your mail from your provider’s servers. And that is long after their servers have already filtered out spam. That is why you may not see messages flagged as spam unless you log in to your account via a web browser at www.gmail.com.

If you use Gmail or Google mail (many non-profit and .org’s do) you can train it to remove false-positives. That way, email that you know is valid will no longer be filtered out as spam. The video below shows you how.

If you would like some help with this and any other aspects of keeping your email healthy and happy, contact us and we will be glad to take care of you!

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