GMail’s Spam Filter is FalteringWritten by Sue Walsh on July 11, 2012
Google has long been lauded for its superior spam filtering. GMail users rarely see spam in their inboxes and hardly ever have to think about their spam folder, in fact Gmail keeps it hidden by default. That was just fine with most users because the spam filter was so good, the chances of legit emails being flagged as spam were slim to none.
Google recently updated GMail and, since then, users have been reporting a high incidence of legit emails not making it to them. Upon digging up the spam folder and looking through it, those legit emails were found. I can verify this. I’ve been a GMail user for years and today for the first time found two legit emails in my spam folder. Why is this happening? It appears Google tweaked their algorithm and made it more aggressive – perhaps a bit too much so.
It’s important to note that much of the false positives are legitimate bulk emails such as newsletters the recipients have opted into, order confirmations and update notifications. What does this mean if your company sends out these kinds of emails? Set up test accounts on GMail if you haven’t already and send your emails to them. If they get flagged as spam, contact your ISP or email provider and have them contact Google with a complaint.
Users, at least for now, had better get used to checking their spam folders everyday. A hassle? Yes, but a much more tolerable one than having an inbox full of spam. Still, let’s hope Google tweaks their filters again and finds some middle ground.