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How To Remove Your Domain/ip From Gmail Blacklist
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We recently noticed that some of our IP's were being blocked, so we did some research to see how we can get them off.
We use many IP addresses to send all of our mails so sometimes it's easy for a few of them to become blocked by different service providers.
The information below may be very important to your business as well.
Have you noticed that your emails are being refused by Gmail?
If so, chances are you or an application that you may be associated with has for lack of a better word, “spammed” them.
Gmail has special parameters in place to detect potential spam and if you are one of the lucky ones to trigger one of them, your email may get blocked as a result.
Have you been blacklisted by Gmail? Here’s some great tips that you can follow to help you remove your domain/IP from the Gmail Blacklist.
What Did I Do To Get Blacklisted?
That is the question most asked by a person that has been deemed a spammer and while Gmail does not publicly disclose their email filtering policies, the sender reputation plays a key factor in their decision, ultimately.
Your sender reputation is measured by the likeliness that the emails which are being sent from you are actually originating from your server and the sender reputation determines whether or not it is going to be spam.
While we don’t know Gmail’s actual algorithm for these, most likely you have been affected by any one of these:
1> The email volume in which you are sending.
2> Your complaint rates.
3> Amount of spam trap hits you’ve received.
4> Any changes in your email volume.
5> The history of your IP Address.
6> If your domain/IP is on a blacklist.
7> The rate in which your emails bounce.
8> Emails being sent to unknown users.
9> Total volume of your emails.
10> Your IP Neighborhood.
Your sender score is a very important factor in your ability to deliver your emails and one of the best ways to ensure your emails get through is to monitor your sender score via ReturnPath.
Easiest Ways To Get Blacklisted
Aside from sender score of your server, there are a several other easy ways to that Gmail will in fact blacklist you:
1> Utilizing outdated applications that have potentially been compromised to allow hackers to send spam via your server.
2> A user account that has been compromised to send spam.
3> Sending spam via an exploit in your web application
4> Any kind of bulk emailing from your servers regardless if subscribers have opted-in.
5> Forward messages bulk messages into Gmail.
These five items account for a major percentage in all spam cases that have been investigated by third party providers.
The first three are security issues – a hacker’s favorite way to send spam. Creating easily breakable passwords and utilizing outdated web applications are a means for a hacker to breach your server and send thousands of emails of spam from your server. This will in fact lead to the blacklist of your domain/IP in Gmail.
Gmail may also still flag your email as spam if you are actively sending bulk emails through a hosted autoresponder service, regardless if your subscribers have opted in to receive them.
Finally, when you forward large amounts of email from your server to Gmail, it can almost immediately trigger a blacklisting.
Blindly forwarding mails to Gmail is one of the easiest methods to blacklist your domain/IP in Gmail.
The result – your sender score will be severely damaged and all of your mails will then be filtered into the spam folder of Gmail, rather the inbox.
DNS Double Checking
You may have deliverability issues if your DNS is not correct. If you have found that you’ve not located any kind of malicious activity, just checking the MX record of your DNS is not enough.
Be sure to check and verify the following:
1> Whether the server that is sending your emails resolves correctly.
2> Make sure that Reverse DNS (PTR) has been setup correctly on your server.
3> Check to ensure that SPF is active and correct.
4> Ensure that you’ve activated the DKIM and is correct.
5> Make sure that the domains that are used in your email headers resolves correctly.
Tools like DNSStuff and IntoDNS are great for verifying that your DNS is correct.
Do You Admin Your Own Server?
As a server administrator, you are able to directly access the logs which will tell you everything that is being sent through your email server logs.
If you are not the admin of your server, you will most likely have to contact the hosting service that you are using and have them check the email server logs for you.
These issues that you may be facing must be addressed or otherwise you will just get re-listed, and possibly permanently.
If you are a server admin, please read the rest of this article for more information that will help you and then use the Gmail blacklist removal form below in this post.
Blacklist Versus The Spam Folder
If your emails are going into Gmails spam folder, you are not actually blacklisted.
If you were blacklisted, your emails would get rejected with a 421 or 550 SMTP error. In your email server logs, you will be able to spot this activity:
Example of a 550 Error:
Remote_host_said:_550-5.7.1 Our_system_has_detected_an_unusual_rate_of unsolicited_mail_originating_from_your_IP_address. _To_protect_our users_from_spam,_mail_sent_from_your_IP_address_has_been_blocked.
Example of a 412 Error:
421-4.7.0 unsolicited mail originating from your IP address. To protect our 421-4.7.0 users from spam, mail sent from your IP address has been temporarily 21-4.7.0 rate limited. Please visit http://www.google.com/mail/help/bulk_mail. 421 4.7.0 html to review our Bulk Email Senders Guidelines. l41si55243084eef.158 – gsmtp
If you notice any of these errors, you have been blacklisted and you can work on getting off the list.
Deciphering Gmail’s SMTP Error Codes
There are two main error codes that relate to the SMTP errors that Gmail provides. These are key to mapping your path to getting off of Gmail’s blacklist.
421 errors are often temporary blocks that can be quickly corrected to avoid any further blocks. Most email servers will attempt to resend the email if they get a 421 error, but Google may decide to block your email entirely if left unchecked.
550 errors are permanent failures. Gmail will often include links and additional information if your email server logs contain 550 errors from Gmail.
Gmail will require you to take actionable steps if you have 550 errors in order to get your domain/IP address removed.
Requesting Domain/IP Address Removal
Google is very particular who is able to contact them and that’s why they’ve literally buried the proper link needed to request your domain/IP address from their blacklist.
They really don’t want you to be able to contact them and they’ve created series of questions that lead nowhere and you will most likely be lead to the wrong form or a form that leads to a dead-end.
However, with the correct sequence of answers, you will be directed to:
Report a delivery problem between your domain and Gmail.
This is where the process begins. Just complete the form in detail but try not to add too much detail.
Your request can take up to 3 – 7 days after submission. You may not even hear back from Gmail at all and you’ll probably notice that your emails will start coming through as long as you’ve fixed the reasons why you were blacklisted in the first place.
Are You A Bulk Sender?
Google doesn’t actually define what is bulk email and while your emails may be legitimate, sending a lot of emails can trigger SMTP error codes in the 400 series, such as:
421, "4.7.0", Our system has detected an unusual rate of unsolicited mail originating from your IP address. To protect our users from spam, mail sent from your IP address has been temporarily blocked. Review our Bulk Email Senders Guidelines.
If you receive this message, be sure to review Google’s Bulk Sender Guidelines and then complete the Bulk Sender Contact Form.
Important Information About Getting Removed
Email deliverability issues can cause a wide range of problems for a business. If you do not fix these issues, there is very little chance of being removed from Gmail or any other blacklisting services blacklist.
Just make to do the following:
1> Reverse DNS must resolve to a valid hostname.
2> Your server’s hostname must have a DNS ‘A’ record
3> Do not blindly forward email to Gmail.
4> Make sure DKIM/SPF are correct.
5> Stop the spamming.
Whatever you have done to trigger the blacklisting needs to be stopped completely if you do not want to be re-listed again. So make sure that if you know what you are doing is the reason why you got listed, stop doing it!
I hope that this information was useful for you… Bookmark this page for later use.
Abe Cherian is an Internet Entrepreneur since 1999. As the founder of AdClickMedia.com, a pay-per-click advertising network, and the CEO of Multiple Stream Media, an online Advertising and Marketing firm, Abe and his team has helped tens of thousands of online advertisers reach 'the right market' at 'the right time', with the 'right message'.
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