Whenever Google does something, it does it big. Last week, Google released an October spam update to prevent spammers from flooding the mail boxes. It requires those bulk email senders (sending over 5000 emails a day) to follow the new guidelines from February 2024. Here is how the update reads: “Starting in 2024, we’ll require bulk senders to authenticate their emails, allow for easy unsubscription, and stay under a reported spam threshold.”

Although Gmail’s automated defenses stop more than 99.9% of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching inboxes every day, there are certain loopholes that let spammers reach our inboxes. Google calls the new update protections for a safer, less spammy inbox. Let’s find out how Google will micromanage every email with the October spam update.

October Spam Updates: Google Vs Spammers

Mailer Verification

Email marketing is one of the highest-paid and most reputed careers in the world. However, most marketers do not properly secure and configure their systems. They could be using a non-reputed service provider, which makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks. In a matter of time, spammers start to use the mail for sending spam messages and mislead customers without even giving a hint. Customers presume that the mail is genuine and click on the mail and get frauded. The end result is that the audience will opt out of your emails, ultimately losing trust in your organisation.

Therefore, just like other services like Google Ads, you have to verify that you are the real sender every time you try to send bulk emails. From February 2024, bulk senders must authenticate their emails using established protocols like SPF, DKIM, or DMARC. Google believes that it will close loopholes exploited by attackers.

So what’s in a name? Read more to find out.

Easy and Faster unsubscription

We don’t remember when we gave our consent to websites bombarding our mail box. But it actually follows when we accept the terms and conditions when signing up on a website. What followed were dozens of newsletters and calendar updates that kept spamming our limited email spaces. The unsubscribe button in many of these emails is often hidden. If, in luck, we tap on the unsubscribe button, it will continue flooding us with emails. Presently, there is no deadline for organisations to keep track of the unsubscription requests.

Fingers crossed. From February 2024 on, you shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to stop getting mail from a particular sender. In one click, you can unsubscribe, and organisations have to process the request within a few days. For the time being, you could manually remove spam and sponsored mails by following the video below.

Spam Rate Threshold

Spam rate threshold refers to the percentage of emails sent to the number of those emails marked as spam. For instance, if you send 1000 emails and one is marked spam, you have a 0.1% spam threshold. 0.1% is the industry standard. The October Spam Update suggests a threshold of 0.3% if the sender complies with the rules.

The average click-through rate for email marketing is just around 2.6%. It implies that 90% of emails are not even seen by the audience. What is more concerning is that even relevant emails will not see the light due to spam. Gmail claims to have already introduced many tools, which reduced the traffic of malicious mail by around 75%. But as more and more organisations promote their contents online, especially via email, there is a need for something more.

Looking Ahead

Nearly 20 years after Gmail launched, the threats we face are more complex and pressing than ever. Like you, I receive a lot of spam emails every day, including those from famous social media platforms like Gab and Discord. While not solving every email security issue, the October spam update is a blessing. The new mandate follows open internet standards and overall digital hygiene. It is high time that other mail platforms follow the Gmail way.

On a positive note, Yahoo product director Marcel Becker said, “No matter who their email provider is, all users deserve the safest, most secure experience possible.” He clarified that Yahoo is looking forward to working with Google and other email service providers to make the email world safer.

Email has become an essential part of our day-to-day communication. It is our right that our whereabouts be safe and secure. There is a limit for users to remove junk emails and declutter their inbox. Google plans to provide implementation guidance for those needing assistance in the months leading up to enforcement. So even for those with an email list of less than 5,000 recipients, it is better to follow the guidelines and make the digital world a better space to live in.