I'm getting a 404 crawl error for mailto:[email protected], in Google webmaster tools under the health > crawl errors.

Surly Google should see that mailto: is related to an email not a webpage..

The HTML I'm using for the mailto on my page is <a href="mailto:mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>

What's the best way to resolve this? Is mailto still widely used or is there a newer alternative ?

  • Old question that popped to the top: using mailto: links on a website is unwise unless you love spam. Harvesters will grab your email address in no time and you will be added to countless lists. Use a captcha protected contact form instead.
    – Steve
    Jul 12, 2021 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


You have two mailto: strings in that href.

Google may well be using a regex that doesn't match a colon after the first one before the @. I don't know what Google are doing, but whatever they are doing it's not working with that href. Normal clients may have troubles with it as well.

  • I suggest to use <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>. mailto:[email protected] is not a valid e-mail address, mailto: is the protocol part.
    – Lekensteyn
    Jun 28, 2012 at 12:18
  • sorry ive just looked at the actual site and its writen the way you've advised. the example about i changed it to hide the site and forgot to remove the second mailto part.. but i the actual live version where im getting the error it is as you've written. ill edit the question to make clear
    – sam
    Jun 28, 2012 at 12:34

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