Google announced on Tuesday that it is implementing stricter measures to combat spam messages targeting Gmail users. Under these new measures, senders who exceed a daily threshold of 5,000 messages to Gmail users will be required to include a one-click unsubscribe button in their emails.
Additionally, they must undergo email address authentication to confirm ownership of their domain name and prevent IP address spoofing.
Furthermore, Google has introduced a policy where it may withhold delivery of messages from senders whose emails consistently receive a high spam marking rate, falling below a “clear spam rate threshold” of 0.3 per cent, as assessed by Google’s Postmaster Tools. Google has also enlisted Yahoo to adopt these changes, which are set to take effect in February 2024.
These actions underscore the ongoing battle between major tech companies and spammers who exploit open systems like email for fraudulent purposes, causing annoyance to users. While machine learning has been employed for years to combat spam, it remains a constant struggle as spammers continuously develop new tactics to bypass filters.
In a blog post, Google’s product manager, Neil Kumaran, likened these changes to a necessary tune-up for the email ecosystem, emphasising that email security, user-friendliness, and spam prevention require ongoing collaboration and vigilance from the entire email community.
It’s worth noting that Google’s adjustments may also impact legitimate marketers who rely on email for customer engagement, particularly the requirement for a convenient unsubscribe option. In 2022, approximately half of all emails sent were estimated to be spam, according to Kaspersky Anti-Virus.