Google Spam Update: What You Need To Know

Like most tech giants, Google does a lot of behind-the-scenes work to improve their corner of the internet, and, for the most part, we can trundle on somewhat unaware, simply getting used to minor changes that we don’t even really notice. Then, every so often, they do an update that shakes things up a little more – Google’s spam update marks one of those major updates for anyone in the email marketing world. We need to all sit up and take notice.

Thankfully, we’ve written this article to help you do the right thing by Google and its almost two billion Gmail users.

(Yeah, that’s a lot of people using Gmail!)

What Does the Google Spam Update Entail?

As of February 2024, Google has implemented a range of new security checks to prevent their users from being inundated with spam emails. This is a good thing for Gmail users and will soon spread to other major providers as they catch up with Google’s initiative.

It’s also a good thing for you as marketers, as long as you make sure to follow the new guidelines and stay compliant, because it marks you out as a professional company and helps you ensure that no one is sending emails in your name.

The update focuses on three specific areas, requiring bulk email senders to do the following:


Authenticate email

 Authenticating emails means that it is clear where the emails came from. Using three of the well-established best practices for bulk emails, it is possible to check the validity of emails and stop the loopholes which allow malicious email attacks.


Enable easy unsubscription

Google is keen that none of their users receive emails they simply don’t want just because they once subscribed to a newsletter and can’t work out how to turn it off. One-click unsubscription is now a requirement for mass commercial email sending.


Ensure emails are wanted

Google has added a spam rate threshold, which must be adhered to so Gmail users see fewer unsolicited emails

What Do I Need To Do To Avoid Being Considered Google Spam?

There are a few measures that need to be taken to ensure that your emails get through to your Gmail-using customers.

Email Authentication

Authenticating your emails is part one of Google’s requirements. In truth, it’s a good practice that everyone should undertake anyway, so this push is definitely in the right direction. When emails are not authenticated, hackers are able to send emails that look like they came from you, a problem known as ‘spoofing’ that can have several unwanted consequences – Google’s push to ensure all emails are legitimate is definitely a positive move.

Email authentication, however, can get a little technical and isn’t easy for anyone who isn’t comfortable messing around with DNS settings – it’s worth discussing your needs with a professional.

There are three aspects of authentication that need to be implemented to meet Google’s standards:

Easy Unsubscribe

Ensuring your emails provide a simple and obvious way to unsubscribe is the second of Google’s rules. This must be accomplished with a single click, and your system must process the unsubscription request within 48 hours.

The desire for a clean unsubscribe process is one that should already be high on any email marketer’s checklist and, hopefully, is something you already apply, as it helps keep your own mailing list current and relevant, helping you with your data analysis and improving your email marketing strategy.

Spam Threshold

A new innovation, the spam threshold, is a strict limit on the number of emails you send out that are reported by users as spam. This means it is important to ensure you are sending out marketing emails that are relevant and engaging for your targets.

If more than 0.3% of your emails are reported as spam, Google will prevent your emails from getting through. In real terms, this means 3 out of 1000 emails can put you in the sin bin!

It All Sounds a Bit Much!

Complying with the new spam update does look a little daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. If messing about SPF and DKIM seems a little complicated, or the idea of making sure your emails are kept far from the spam threshold worries you, then speak to someone who knows.

Using a professional email marketer will ensure your email communications will get to the right people. Not only that, but when they do get there, they’ll be enjoyed, and chances are (and this is the best bit), they’ll be acted on.

It’s important that you take full account of this Google spam update – if you don’t, then your emails could all just be lost in the void, unable to reach their targets. Contact Nathan Littleton for some personalised help to keep your company in your customers’ minds.

Like this? Sign up for regular marketing tips here:

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Share on Pinterest
Share on WhatsApp
Share by Email