• Google’s latest criteria for bulk sending go beyond just authentication.
  • The new requirements mandate bulk senders (those sending over 5,000 daily emails to Gmail addresses) to authenticate their emails using established best practices.

To keep Gmail secure, convenient, and spam-free, Google LLC recently announced that it would enforce new rules for bulk email senders.

Set to be introduced in February 2024, the new requirements are intended to combat spam and malicious emails. Although Gmail’s artificial intelligence-powered defenses prevent more than 99.9% of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching inboxes, blocking almost 15 billion unwanted emails every day, Neil Kumaran, Group Product Manager of Gmail security and trust, noted in a blog post that threats today are more complex and urgent than ever.

Bulk senders, or those who send more than 5,000 messages to Gmail addresses daily, will now be required to authenticate their emails per accepted best practices. Since unauthenticated messages to Gmail users have decreased by 75%, it is now necessary to authenticate emails in addition to the previous requirements that have some form of authentication. By extending that requirement to all bulk emails, Google thinks it will close security gaps that hackers have been using.

The updated bulk sending guidelines from Google go beyond simple authentication. Senders will also soon be required to allow Gmail users to quickly and easily unsubscribe from promotional emails, and they must process unsubscribe requests within two days.

Google will also enforce a clear spam rate threshold that senders must stay under in order to prevent Gmail recipients from being bombarded with unwanted messages. This is done to ensure that senders are not sending spam. Users should experience even less spam in their inboxes due to all the changes.

Google is not acting alone in its efforts to push for changes in the event that spammers choose to target inbox users on other email services. One business associate helping Google make the same changes is Yahoo Inc.

Senior Director of product at Yahoo, Marcel Becker, said, “No matter who their email provider is, all users deserve the safest, most secure experience possible. In the interconnected world of email, that takes all of us working together.”

The changes, according to Google’s Kumaran, are “like a tune-up for the email world and by fixing a few things under the hood, we can keep email running smoothly,” but took note that “just like a tune-up, this is not a onetime exercise. Keeping email more secure, user friendly and spam-free requires constant collaboration and vigilance from the entire email community.”