Google and Bitly
It seems I’m the only person on the Internet who didn’t know sending email to Google with bit.ly links will tank your deliverability. To my credit, I’ve been answering deliverability support questions for 16 years and this has never come up.
Until last week.
For some reason, at May First we suddenly had about three percent of our email to Google deferred with the ominous sounding:
“Our system has detected that this message is 421-4.7.0 suspicious due to the nature of the content and/or the links within.”
The quantity of email that accounts for just three percent of mail to Google is high, and caused all kinds of monitoring alarms to go off, putting us into a bit of panic.
Eventually we realized all but one of the email messages had bit.ly links.
I’m still not sure whether this issue was caused by a weird and coincidental spike in users sending bit.ly links to Google. Or whether some subtle change in the Google algorithm is responsible. Or some change in our IP address reputation placed greater emphasis on bit.ly links.
In the end it doesn’t really matter - the real point is that until we disrupt this growing monopoly we will all be at the mercy of Google and their algorithms for email deliverability (and much, much more).