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No one harvests email addresses any more

There are a lot of people who assert that “no one” actually scrapes websites for email addresses any longer. My experience indicates this isn’t exactly true.

We have a rotating set of email addresses on our contact page. Every day we push out a new email address. Every day we expire addresses that were pushed out 7 days ago.

I can say, with 100% certainty, that there are people harvesting addresses off websites. The ads are reasonably “targeted.” Most of them are offering increased traffic, or the ability to monetize the website. Some are offering work from home.

I suppose you could call these targeted mails. After all, what website owner doesn’t want more traffic? Who wouldn’t want to make hundreds of dollars a day from the comfort of their own couch? What website owner doesn’t want their site submitted to 2700 different search engines?

Targeted spam is still spam. And having a rotating, expiring contact address has kept the amount of spam coming into our contact address low enough that the contact address is actually useable. 10 spams a month (for a 7 day old email address) is much more manageable than 1000 emails a month (for a 4 year old email address).

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