Gmail Authentication Alerts: Everything You Need to Know

Andrew Kordek

2 minute read

Gmail Authentication Alerts: Everything You Need to Know

Changes to Gmail Authentication Alerts

Following updates to gmail authentication alerts is important because Gmail continues to play an important role in every organization’s email marketing program. In fact, Gmail has 900 million worldwide users which means they could be the largest domain in your database right now. In a not-so-sudden move, the Gmail team is pushing a live change this week that will help the Gmail user identify whether or not the email is authenticated by altering the avatar. If sender authentication fails, Gmail will replace the avatar with a big red question mark.

Gmail Authentication Alerts


This question mark warns the subscriber that the email may be unsafe and may have originated from an untrusted source. In addition, Google will also add safe-browsing precautions in to Gmail. These are the same safe-browsing precautions which have existed in Chrome for some time. This means that if a Gmail user attempts to click on a link in an email message, they will get a full-page message warning them that a visit to the site could harm their computer.

These authentication changes are set to rollout over the next several weeks to all Gmail inboxes.

What This Means for Your Email Program

If you are authenticated and send legitimate, trusted emails, the impact should be negligible. However, if you don’t regularly audit elements such as sender authentication and other potentially vulnerable areas of your infrastructure, it can impact your email marketing efforts even if you are a legitimate sender. While you may think this is the job of your email service provider, it’s actually you’re responsibility. Unless you are paying someone to consistently monitor your reputation and authentication, overall deliverability health is in your hands. Bottom line; you need to pay attention to gmail authentication alerts and the updates that come with them. 

A few years ago, we discovered one of our client’s IT departments had made several server configuration changes while undergoing routine maintenance. In the process, they accidentally changed all the records that affected the outbound email authentication. These changes carried over to their email program and triggered a drop in engagement among their top domains. We noticed the issue immediately and quickly resolved the problem, helping our client get back on track in the process. The moral of the story is that after something happiness that could affect authentication or the email program in general, it’s a good idea to do a spot audit.

Perform Frequent Audits

When it comes to deliverability, skepticism pays off. It’s okay to be worry when something outside of your realm of responsibility take an action that could adversely affect the revenue or engagement of your email program, such as gmail authentication alert updates. Take control and monitor your engagement across your top domains as often as you can to spot anomalies. Check and re-check on a monthly basis (or at the very least, quarterly) everything that could go wrong with your back end. This process can be very daunting, but that’s what we’re here for.

Checking your back end could save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

Trendline Interactive

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About the Author(s)

Andrew Kordek

Andrew Kordek is a Co-Founder of Trendline Interactive.

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