Google's anti-spam policy

Google has strict rules to combat spam.

Weronika Kapias avatar
Written by Weronika Kapias
Updated over a week ago

Gmail automatically identifies suspicious emails and marks them as spam. Identification of unwanted or harmful messages is accomplished by filtering algorithms.

Google uses advanced algorithms to analyze the content, headers, and other elements of a message to determine whether it should make it to the inbox or be considered spam.

Here are some factors that can affect the classification of a message as spam in Gmail:

Message content:

Algorithms analyze the content of the message, looking for characteristics of spam. These may include excessive links, keywords often associated with spam, or certain text patterns.

Sender Authenticity:

Gmail checks the authenticity of the sender, especially using authentication technologies such as DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and SPF (Sender Policy Framework). If a message comes from a fake or unverified source, it may be considered spam.

User complaints:

If many users report a particular message as spam, it may affect the decision of algorithms. Therefore, it is important to provide valuable and desirable content to avoid complaints. A copy of each user-reported message is automatically sent to Google to verify for spam, which helps the algorithm learn and better identify such messages in the future.

Spam hallmarks:

Algorithms are programmed to detect various spam patterns, such as financial scams, phishing messages and low-quality advertising content.

Audience engagement:

Engagement metrics, such as message open rate or click-through rate, can influence whether a message goes to the inbox or the spam folder. Gmail is always learning based on your specific email address and how you interact with the messages.

Example: If you send yourself frequent preview e-mails, but don't necessarily open or click on them, there's a possibility that those previews will start ending up in your spam folder.

Links to malicious sites:

Messages containing links to sites deemed harmful or phishing may be considered spam. Factors that can cause a link to be considered harmful include:

  • Malware: A link that leads to a site containing malware, such as viruses, trojans or other harmful files.

  • Phishing: Links to sites that attempt to impersonate well-known institutions, banks or services to obtain sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details.

  • Spoofing: Links to sites that pretend to be other well-known websites in order to mislead the user about their true identity.

  • Dangerous sites: Links that lead to sites deemed unsafe or containing unsecured content.

  • Bulk Sending: If links are included in messages that are sent in bulk to many users, they may be considered potentially harmful.

The consequences of a message being marked as spam by the recipient themselves:

When someone mark an email as spam in Gmail, several consequences may occur:

  • Move to Spam Folder:
    The marked email is immediately moved to the Spam or Junk folder. This folder contains emails that Gmail's spam filters have identified as potentially unwanted or malicious.

  • Blocking the Sender:
    Gmail may automatically block the sender or sender's domain associated with the marked email. Subsequent emails from that sender or domain are more likely to be filtered into the Spam folder.

  • Training Gmail's Filters:
    By marking an email as spam, you help train Gmail's spam filters. Gmail uses machine learning algorithms to improve its ability to detect and filter out unwanted emails based on user feedback. If many users mark similar emails as spam, it contributes to refining the spam filter for everyone.

When you mark an email as spam, Google uses this information to improve its spam detection algorithms and enhance the overall email security for Gmail users.

Google uses machine learning algorithms that analyze hundreds of factors to assess whether a messege is suspicious or not.

It's important to follow email ethics, adhere to Google's guidelines, and avoid practices that could be considered dangerous.

Regular monitoring of engagement metrics and responding to user complaints also helps maintain a good status as an email sender.

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