Copyright 2004 Ed Zivkovic
How to Hide Your eMail Address from Spambots
Ever wander why so many webmasters refuse to insert their email address into the body of their webpages?
The reason is to protect their eMail address from email harvesting robots. These robots crawl the Internet searching for email addresses in order to build a spam list.
These spambots ignore the robots.txt file. The robots.txt file is used to instruct legitimate web crawling robots about where they can and cannot go on your site. The file is observed by honest search engine robots but not by spambots.
Spambots will also ignore any instructions within the meta tags of your HTML. This means that they just go around doing what they want violating your rights as a webmaster. Spambots are boundary violators just like the spammers who continue to do what they do. That is, send spam.
Many webmasters today have decided to use a contact form instead in an attempt to throw the spambots off. This has served a dual purpose for Internet marketers.
1. To keep the eMail address safe from spambots.
2. Another webpage to use for the purpose of channeling Page Rank (PR).
You will notice two variables within the script:
var name = "protected";
var domain = "cdrsoft.com";
To insert the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, simply replace the word "protected" with the word "webmaster" and replace the domain "cdrsoft.com" with "yourdomain.com". That's it.
Automatic Encoding Tool
This tool is easy to use. Just insert the email address you wish to protect and click the button called "Encode mail links": http://www.bronze-age.com/nospam/encode.html
Also, you will need to download a small file called "email.js" and upload it to your website. Full details about this system are available at: http://www.bronze-age.com/nospam/index.html.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Contact Form - With a contact form, you are sending valuable Page Rank to yet another page on your site. From that page, you can send more Page Rank to still other pages.
Note to Content Management Software Developers
Some article submission services publish authors articles along with the email address of the author. In this day and age, this is unacceptable. I would call this version "the barely ready beta version". In other words, it is ready for BETA release after this problem is fixed.
If you develop Article Publishing software, and the published articles include the authors eMail address, you are on a losing streak. I have spoken to owners of this type of software and they are on the lookout for something better.
This applies to other types of software scripts which publish HTML with an eMail address. Not everybody wants to open up free eMail dumping accounts.