Google and Yahoo new email authentication requirements

The new email authentication requirements by Google and Yahoo

1/29/20242 min read

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The new email authentication requirements by Google and Yahoo in 2024.

Here's a summary of what you need to know to ensure your emails comply with these new standards:

Basic Requirements for All Senders

1. Email Authentication:

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): Validates emails by verifying the sender's mail servers.

  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): Adds a digital signature to emails to verify their integrity.

Implementing both SPF and DKIM is crucial to prevent domain spoofing and ensure email authenticity.

2. Low Spam Rates:

  • Google specifies maintaining a spam rate below 0.3% (as per Google's postmaster tools).

  • For Yahoo, while not explicitly stated, aiming for a spam rate below 0.3% is advisable.

  • Achieve this by using double opt-in, maintaining clean email lists, and removing inactive addresses.

Additional Requirements for High-Volume Senders (> 5,000 messages/day)

1. SPF and DKIM Authentication: Mandatory for high-volume senders to Gmail or Yahoo users.

2. DMARC Policy:

  • Implement DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) for additional domain-level email protection.

  • DMARC builds on SPF and DKIM and instructs recipient servers on handling unauthenticated emails.

3. DMARC Alignment:

  • Ensure emails pass DMARC alignment, verifying the match between sending domain's authentication (SPF and DKIM) and the domains in the email headers.

4. One-click Unsubscribe:

  • Include 'list-unsubscribe' headers and visible unsubscribe links in emails.

  • Process unsubscribe requests within two days.

5. ARC Headers:

  • For forwarded emails, add ARC (Authenticated Received Chain) headers to indicate the message was forwarded and identify the forwarder.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

  • Failure to meet these standards, especially for high-volume senders, can lead to severe consequences:

  • Emails may not be delivered to Gmail and Yahoo accounts.

  • Significant impact on business operations and customer engagement due to communication barriers.

In summary, these measures by Google and Yahoo are aimed at bolstering email security and reducing the risks associated with email fraud and spam. Adhering to these requirements is essential for ensuring effective and secure email communication with customers.

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