How to Remove Your IP from the Gmail Blacklist

Gmail Blacklist

gmail blacklistIf you cannot send emails to Gmail, Gmail may have blacklisted your server’s IP address.  Unfortunately, there is no Gmail blacklist check tool like other public spam blacklists.  You will simply get bounces with specific errors indicating a Gmail delivery issue.

 

Here are some tips to get removed from the Gmail blacklist. This is another installment of our Spam Blacklist Removal Series, so be sure to check out the series for other ISPs.

Before jumping through the blacklist removal hoops, you may want to double-check that your emails are not simply going into the spam folder. This process will not help you with emails being dropped into the spam folder. This is for getting off of Gmail’s blacklist. I am going to outline 3 steps.

  1. Verify you are on the Gmail blacklist.
  2. Perform preliminary blacklist removal checks.
  3. Submit Gmail blacklist delisting request.

Also, now may be a good time to make sure you are using good practices, such as setting up SMTP AUTH in Thunderbird or using Outlook’s SMTP AUTH settings.

Gmail Blacklist Verification

If you are blacklisted, then you should be getting a delivery rejection notice from Google. If you check your server’s logs or your email bounce you may see something like this:

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.
Please_visit_http://www.google.com/mail/help/bulk_mail.html
_to_review_our_Bulk_Email_Senders_Guidelines

If you are seeing this email error, then your server’s IP has likely been blocked by Google. There could be other response codes, but typically all Gmail blacklist notifications will include a 550 error plus a link to the Gmail policies pages.
If you are not seeing 550 errors, then you may not have an email blacklist problem but some other email delivery issue.

 

Stay tuned. We are releasing our first Blacklist Checklist within the next week.

 

Preliminary Blacklist Delisting Tasks

Before requesting removal from Gmail’s blacklist, you will want to take some steps to stop whatever caused the listing. See some of my other blacklist removal posts for more details but in a nutshell you should:
Make sure there is no unauthorized email going from your server.

  • Check the daily volume of email going to Gmail
  • Look for compromised user accounts.
  • Look for people forwarding email to Gmail.

Once you have reviewed these items, you should be able to determine the cause of the listing. For example, if someone is forwarding email to Gmail and then marketing it as spam, your server’s sender reputation is lowered and you can be blacklisted. Sudden spikes in email volume can also trigger the filters. The important thing is look for changes in your server’s behavior as it is likely the cause of the listing.

Gmail Blacklist Removal Request

The forms to initiate an inquiry at Gmail are buried in Google’s email help section. If you are running your own server, you will want to start with their “My domain can’t send to Gmail” form. If you answer the questions correctly, you will win a prize:

Report a delivery problem between your domain and Gmail.

Provide only what they ask, and do not complain. Just provide the requested details and drop a note of thanks into the additional information field. I suspect they receive 100’s of these a day, so be nice and wait.

Unlike some ISP’s, I rarely get a reply from Gmail. The issue simply resolves or not. I find them one of the more difficult email providers to deal with regarding email blacklisting practices.

Your Gmail Experiences?

If you have Gmail delivery tips or blacklist removal tips, please let me know. I deal with email blacklisting every week and am trying to document the processes at major email providers. If you still cannot send email, you may have other issues, such as email backscatter, and need to bring in some professional help to get email flowing again.

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Jeff is the CEO and founder of rackAID. He has been working in hosting industry since the days of Rackshack's famed customer appreciation parties back in the early 2000's. Jeff is an avid cyclist, wine enthusiast, and admitted Kraftwerk listener (please don't hold that against him). You may spot him at any number of hosting, startup and small business conferences

14 Comments

  • Someone grateful :) November 2, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Thanks for the write-up , I submitted a request to get my company off the spam list so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  • Cam Balkon February 10, 2011 at 8:23 am

    thnks for share great works

  • Jeff H. February 22, 2011 at 9:28 am

    @wissam
    Make sure your DNS is correct and that the server’s hostname resolves properly.

    With some dedicated server providers, they fail to setup basic DNS. So I would check that.

    A quick check of blacklists, does not show any issues.
    Use these tools to check your server’s reputation:
    https://www.senderscore.org/

    And blacklist:
    http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

  • wissam February 22, 2011 at 6:24 am

    hello,
    i can’t send email to any gmail account from my server with ip 109.228.1.248.
    Any idea?

  • vigilant February 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Have long since resolved problems that caused blacklisting by Google.  Not blacklisted by anyone else.  I there no way to get a status?  I’m not even sure that their “report a delivery problem..” form even gets to them!

  • vijay May 23, 2011 at 11:27 am

    hi my mails are going to gmail spam box
    not all yahoo and other networks going to inbox only, how to solve this problem please help me

  • Jeffrey Huckaby May 24, 2011 at 9:31 am

    @Vijay
    Your server’s sending reputation may be low and/or your DNS is not configured properly.  Dealing with email routing to the spam folder is a bit beyond this blog post/comment section.  See. https://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=81126 for more details.

    @Bryant
    Typically takes 1-5 business days depending on if your server is still causing issues or not.  The main thing is to stop the behavior causing the initial listing.

  • Bryant May 24, 2011 at 3:07 am

    hi, I have submit the tickect on last Friday. Until now Gmail still not contact me yet.  The problem still there.

    Somebody please help me

  • Bryant May 31, 2011 at 1:00 am

    @Jeff

    Gmail just allow me to send 5 emails after they removed my IP from their “blacklisted list”

    But those email still deliver into Junk mail box.

    any idea?
    what DNS setting can be as reference?

  • Snehanshu Netam July 9, 2011 at 9:02 am

    my emails sent from domail @ghotul.in and @ghotul.com are sent to spam box in gmail . How can i place my mails directly to the gmail inbox

  • Matt July 16, 2011 at 5:15 am

    I’m still blacklisted from gmail after I put in a request. What an I do now? it’s been more than 5 days since the request.

  • Jeffrey Huckaby July 18, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Spam box issues—this is beyond the scope of this blog post but search for “email sender reputation” in Google. 

    @Matt
    If you are still blacklisted, then they are likely still getting complaints from your server or network environment.  You have to find and stop the cause and be sure the forms have all necessary information. 

    I you are certain emails are stopped, then re-file after 7 days.

  • Eric Gillette August 22, 2011 at 4:34 am

    For those having delivery issues who aren’t blacklisted (i.e. delivery into the spam folder), try creating SPF records, and also signing with DomainKeys or DKIM.  This I find helps with delivery to the inbox substantially.

  • rackAID September 26, 2011 at 1:40 am

    We are suspending comments on this page.  Unfortunately, we are spending a lot of time with people very confused about who to call. We do not control these blacklists, so we cannot directly remove you. 

    If you someone is rejecting your email, you need to contact them.  These tutorials should help you through the process.

    If you are running a Linux server and still need help, consider our paid support services.