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  • Google's New Anti-Spam Measures and the Necessary Configuration Changes for Email Delivery


    Google is renowned for continuously working to improve its services, particularly in terms of security and user-friendliness. One area where Google regularly introduces updates and improvements is in handling spam and unwanted emails in Gmail. In this blog post, we will delve deeply into Google's latest anti-spam measures and explain the necessary configuration changes to ensure that your legitimate emails reach Gmail users.

    Google's New Anti-Spam Measures

    Google has recently updated its algorithms to be more effective against spam. These enhancements include both machine learning and improved filtering based on user feedback. Google utilizes these technologies to detect patterns and features in emails that typically indicate spam. Consequently, emails that do not contain spam may also be not delivered more often.

    Improved Filtering Based on Behavioral Patterns

    One of the key components of the new anti-spam measures is the ability to recognize behavioral patterns commonly associated with spam activities. These include unusual sending rhythms, high bounce rates, and sending large volumes of similar messages within a short period. Beyond that, additional email header checks have been introduced.

    User Feedback

    Gmail also extensively uses user feedback to improve the efficiency of spam detection. When a user marks an email as spam, this action helps train the filtering system and better recognize similar emails in the future.

    Necessary Configuration Changes for Email Delivery

    To ensure that your emails reach Gmail users and are not mistakenly classified as spam, certain configuration changes and best practices are required.

    Use of SPF, DKIM, and DMARC

    Recently, one or more of the following authentication methods must be set up for emails:

    • SPF allows recipients to verify if an email was sent from an authorized mail server.
    • DKIM provides a method to digitally sign the email content, ensuring the integrity of the message.
    • DMARC uses SPF and DKIM to communicate to recipients how to handle emails that fail the authentication checks.

    What peaknetworks Customers Need to Consider

    If your DNS zone is with peaknetworks and you use mail servers from peaknetworks, the following DNS entry for SPF is correct:

    TXT v=spf1 a mx include:_spf.peaknetworks.net ~all

    Using Real Email Addresses with Authentication

    Before the new measures by Google and Microsoft, it was possible to send emails using generic PHP mail() functions. Due to the new measures from Google and Microsoft, this is no longer feasible, as the Return-Path and From part in the headers of the emails do not match.

    What peaknetworks Customers Need to Consider

    For all emails to be delivered to Google or Gmail, the following points must be implemented for a WordPress hosting named test.com:

    • Create a real mailbox on the mail server
    • In the control panel, a real mailbox is set up, e.g., no-reply@test.com
    • Switch to SMTP Authentication for email delivery
    • Instead of using PHP's mail() function, email delivery must be switched to SMTP Authentication. For example, in WordPress, the WPSMTP plugin is installed and configured with the parameters of the mailbox no-reply@test.com with parameters Port 587, TLS, the mailbox, and the mailbox password.

    The Most Important Thing

    From this point on, the website's emails using the domain name must not contain any spam content in forms on the website, otherwise, the emails from this domain will not be accepted.

    This means that anti-spam protection (e.g., Captcha) must be active on all forms of the website, otherwise, there is a risk that the domain will be blacklisted and no email deliveries will be possible.

    If it cannot be ensured that the forms do not forward spam, it is advisable to disable the forms until a solution is found.

    Regular Review of Your Email Lists

    Ensure your email lists are up-to-date and free of outdated or invalid addresses. Regular checks and removing non-responsive or unsubscribed users can lower your bounce rate and improve your sender reputation.

    Adjustment of Email Content

    Avoid using words and phrases commonly associated with spam. Personalize your messages as much as possible and ensure to provide relevant and valuable content for your recipients.

    Monitoring and Adjustments

    Monitor the performance of your email campaigns, especially the rate of emails marked as spam. Use analysis tools to identify trends and make necessary adjustments.


    Google's new anti-spam measures are an important step toward improving email security for all Gmail users. By implementing the above configuration changes, you can ensure that your legitimate emails reach their target audience. Stay informed about the latest developments and adjust your strategies accordingly to achieve optimal results.