How to Remove Your IP from Yahoo Blacklist

Can’t send email to Yahoo?

Trust me, you are not alone.

Yahoo, Google, AOL, ATT and other ISPs are often targets of spammers. If you have a security issue on your server, you likely will get blacklisted by one of these major ISPs.

Why Was I Blacklisted?

Yahoo! does reveal their blacklist practices, but they like most email service providers use your sender’s IP reputation to determine if your email gets though.  Here are just a few of the items know to impact your server’s sender reputation.

  • Blacklistings
  • Bounce rates
  • Email Sent to Unknown Users
  • Total Email Volume
  • IP Neighborhood
  • Email Volume
  • Complaint Rates
  • Spam Trap Hits
  • Changes in Email Volume
  • History of IP Address

Before beginning any blacklist diagnostics, I recommend you check your server’s IP reputation at SenderScore.org.  If you have a score less than 80, then you may have email delivery issues.

Common problems we see are:

  • Compromised user account used to send spam.
  • Web application exploit used to send spam.
  • Bulk emailing from mailing lists, newsletters, forums & blogs (even if they are opt-in).
  • Bulk forwarding of email to Yahoo.

The last one is often overlooked.  If you forward email to Yahoo and you then mark it as spam, Yahoo will penalize your server.  This is often a problem on shared hosting servers.  Some user will just forward all of their email to Yahoo.  These are often junk accounts that receive 100′s of spam messages.  If you get your server off of the blacklist, then you will likely need to stop this practice.

Yahoo Blacklist Check

Unlike like Spamhaus, Spamcop and other public real time blacklist (RBLs), you cannot simply lookup an IP at Yahoo! to see if it is blacklisted.  Typically, the only way you know email is rejected is you will get a message like this:



421 4.7.0 [TS01] Messages from <1.2.3.4> temporarily deferred due to user complaints

 -
<1.2.3.4> ;see http://postmaster.yahoo.com/421-ts01.html

There are other variations such as:


553 5.7.1 [BL21] Connections will not be accepted from 1.2.3.4, 

because the ip is in Spamhaus's list; see <a href="http://postmaster.yahoo.com/550-bl23.html">http://postmaster.yahoo.com/550-bl23.html</a>

 

 

The important part is the specific error code, such as “BL21” or “TS01“.  These along with the link will tell you the specific SMTP error that Yahoo! is returning.  Always check this list of Yahoo’s SMTP Error Codes so you know exactly why you are listed.

Fix the Problem

Your server is blacklisted for a reason. If you don’t find that reason, you will just be blacklisted again.
Before you try to request removal, be sure to analyze your server to find out why you were listed in the first place. You have to fix the issue or they will just list your server again.

Do not try to get removed from the blacklist if you have not found the source of the problem. You don’t want cycles of delisting and re-listing to damage your sender reputation. If you have found the problem, then simple wait. In many cases, I find that the block is removed in under 48 hours.

Don’t forget DNS. 

Make sure that:

  • Reverse DNS  resolves to a hostname.
  • Make sure the hostname has a A record.
  • Don’t use generic hostnames assigned by ISPs or server vendors.
  • SPF is valid.
  • DKIM is working properly.

DNS is one of the most critical elements to good email delivery, so always fix DNS issues as they could be why you are blacklisted in the first place.

 

Request Blacklist Removal

Check Spamhaus

Yahoo uses Spamhaus.   Make sure you are not listed there.  If you are then you need to request removal from  Spamhaus before you contact Yahoo!.  You may find that once you are removed from Spamhuas, your email to Yahoo! will start flowing again.

Yahoo Bulk Sender Form

Even if you are not a bulk sender, you will need to complete the  Yahoo! Bulk Sender Form.

Though some fields on the delivery report are optional, it is best to provide as much information as possible. Especially, the “Enter additional information here:”.

You will want to detail in 2-3 sentences your remediation efforts.

For example, if the problem was a compromised web script send them a note:

We have identified an insecure web application on our server that permitted unauthorized email relay through our system. We have removed this script.

Keep it short and technical. Yahoo! postmaster staff reviews 1000’s of these requests, so being short and to the point is best to get removed from the Yahoo blacklist.

Get Help!

If all of this seems too much, then we can help.

We provide blacklist removal services for people using CentOS, Red Hat, Plesk and cPanel servers. Most cases require a Level  2 or 3 Support Package ($250/$350).

While we cannot guarantee results, we are successful in more than 98% of cases (100% successful so far in 2014).

Note that we have no formal relationship with Google or maintain their blacklist.

We just know how to fix email problems correctly.

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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

11 Comments

  • Jason Bradbury December 2, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Just thought I’d post a link to a spam blacklist tool I use to check the lists in real-time…
    <a href=“http://www.spamblacklist.co.uk&#8221; rel=“nofollow” target=“_new”>http://www.spamblacklist.co.uk</a&gt;

  • Jeffrey Huckaby December 4, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    We also use http://www.dnsstuff.com to check for blacklists.  Unfortunately, many ISPs do not publish their blacklist.  So we do a manual telnet session to port 25 at the ISP. If you are blocked,  you will often get an error indicating what actions to take.

  • Jeffrey Huckaby December 4, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Also on most servers, the IP you need to check is the main server’s address not the sites IP address.

  • ServerPars August 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I think the best way to know our Ip status is <a href=“http://www.mxtoolbox.com/SuperTool.aspx&#8221; rel=“nofollow” target=“_new”>http://www.mxtoolbox.com/SuperTool.aspx</a&gt; .with this tool you can know any thing about your ip and ways to resolves problems if exist.

  • Jules September 18, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Do you have any suggestions re. mail forwarding?  Yahoo regularly blacklists our server address because of spam we are legitimately forwarding on behalf of clients who have requested we forward email for them to yahoo (or BT Internet) accounts.  Is there any way of preventing this from happening, or do I simply have to carry on going through the cycle of: wait for the clients to start complaining, contact yahoo and ask to be removed from the blacklist, wait a week or so, check our messages aren’t being discarded still, then contact our clients and let them know the problem is resolved?  This really doesn’t seem to be a tenable situation, but I just don’t see what else (other than recommend our clients do not use BT/Yahoo) we can do?

  • Jeff H. September 18, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Jules
    Great question, one that I think deserves its own blog post, but until then here is the problem faced by the ISPs.

    When you forward email to them, they have no way of knowing if it is good email or spam.  If they just accepted forwards without any checks, spammers would immediately take advantage of this tactic. 

    There are couple of tips which I will expand on in the blog post (hopefully this week):

    1. Scan for spam before you forward.  With good spam filtering, you can send less email to Yahoo! and similar ISPs.

    2. See if the ISP has a way to pull in the email via POP3.  For example, I know you can check 3rd party accounts with AOL’s webmail tool. Yahoo may offer something similar.

    I suggest you check back this week and I will try to get a post up on this topic as it impacts many of our clients.

  • canan November 23, 2010 at 1:17 am

    When I sent an official count meil is perceived as spam, please correct it

  • Agus Setiawan February 1, 2011 at 11:20 am

    good spam remover info. spam is very bad thing. and i dont want spam come into my life … hikss

  • felt March 14, 2011 at 11:46 am

    is there any webpage to directly verify the websites , how to instantly check it

  • Jeffrey Huckaby April 28, 2011 at 11:18 am

    You may want to check into using a service like SendGrid.  I recommend that you do not do bulk emailing on a server that is used for transactional purposes (sending receipts, etc) or used internally for email.  When you first start sending large amounts of email, you have a good chance of getting blocked.

  • Nausherwan April 28, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Thanks jeff for your input, i actually want to know backend functionality of bulk emails, when i send bulk emails, how my ip will b blocked in different RBL’s, and how different companies allow bulk emails, bcz if they allow bulk mail,than their own ip will b blocked. How these companies work actually