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Google is taking additional steps to ensure Gmail inboxes remain secure and free from spam by implementing new standards for large-scale senders of commercial emails.
In the previous year, Google began to mandate authentication for emails addressed to Gmail users. This resulted in a substantial 75% drop in unauthenticated emails received by Gmail users. Neil Kumaran, the group product manager for Gmail Security & Trust, emphasized the effectiveness of the initiative, noting how it not only decluttered Gmail inboxes but also blocked billions of potentially harmful messages with pinpoint accuracy. However, Kumaran reiterated the importance of further strengthening these measures by introducing additional criteria for major dispatchers of emails.
Bulk email senders, which refer to email services or tools employed by online enterprises to distribute over 5,000 messages to Gmail accounts within a single day, will face new stipulations starting February 2024. These include:
- Implementing SPF (to counteract domain spoofing), DKIM (a digital signature to deter sender falsification), and DMARC (protection against counterfeit email correspondences) authentication for their outgoing domain.
- Ensuring the legitimacy of their sending domains/IPs with proper forward and reverse DNS records.
- Incorporating ARC headers to outbound emails, especially if they habitually relay messages.
- Adhering to the Internet Message Format standard.
- Simplifying the process for users to opt-out of commercial emails, enabling them to do so with a mere mouse click.
- Ensuring that they refrain from mimicking Gmail’s “From:” headers and maintain spam rates (as documented in Postmaster Tools) under 0.3%.
Kumaran underscored their commitment to establishing a definitive spam rate benchmark. By adhering to this, Google aims to further reduce the influx of undesirable emails in users’ inboxes.
In addition to these new measures, Google’s email sender guide has highlighted several recommendations for bulk senders to ensure their commercial messages aren’t classified as spam or hindered by Gmail. While some guidelines like refraining from impersonating other domains without authorization, avoiding sending unsolicited emails, or not procuring email addresses from external enterprises may seem straightforward, others require more discernment. For instance, Google advises against amalgamating varying content types in a single message. This includes not combining promotional content with transactional messages like sales receipts and not tagging internal correspondences as spam.