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title5. Google is deliberately rate limiting you

UCSB uses Google Connect for most individual emails, which means a lot of delays are not actually from the Mailman servers but at the point where Google accepts mail from said server or delivers said mail to individuals.

Due to the abuse of third party apps by spammers across the planet, Google is deliberately being heavy handed in an effort to encourage people to use google groups or pay extra to use mass mail options.

Note all numbers are from Google Connect Terms of service as listed on under "Limits for sending & getting mail" as of March 2024

  1. Maximum number of posts a member can make to a group before completing CAPTCHA verification: 100 per day
  2. Maximum number of posts a member can make to a group after completing CAPTCHA verification: 500 per day (includes 100 prior to verification)(500 per day is also the max number of individual emails a single address can send per day from a Google Connect/Gmail account or to various Google Connect/Gmail accounts).
    1. This means if you are emailing a google group with 100 members, you can only send 5 emails to this group per day, any more than that will be held for 24 hours till your timer resets
    2. This also means even with Google verification on our Mailman servers, a single mailman list is rate limited assuming everyone you are emailing is using their UCSB school emails. e.g. 1 email to 500 people per day, 5 emails to 100 people, etc... It is often better to send 1 larger email than multiple smaller emails if you are concerned about people getting their mail in a timely manner.
  3. Total message size: 2.4 GB per hour (meaning if you are sending max size 25 Mb emails full of pictures/posters, only 96 emails will go out per hour)
  4. Google reserves the right to rate limit and blacklist servers with "excessive bounces", "spam looking content", etc... 
    1. meaning for example if you have a Mailman list of 100 members and 4 of them are bouncing, after the third bounce, google will stop accepting mail from said Mailman list for a time, so the members who were at the front of the list may get their mail in minutes and the people at the end of the list after the third bounce may get their mail after a day delay.
    2. Google is vague on what goes into their spam score but in general, large pictures with embedded HTML links, signatures with URLs, and shortened URLs that redirect somewhere else all raise your spam score.

Due to the above issues we are encouraging the following:

  1. Conversion of Mailman lists to Google groups: that way we are only dealing with delays internal to the Google Connect system
  2. Limiting Google groups to 100 people or less and using Google groups made of smaller Google groups.
    1. A message to a Google group of 1000 people may take up to 2 days to reach everyone (500 emails per day times 2 days = 1000 emails)
    2. A message to a google group of 10 google groups each of 100 people will go out in minutes and you can send up to 5 emails per day to this group of groups before the smaller groups of 100 people stop accepting mail.
    3. Smaller lists are easier to manage, allow for more messages per day to be sent, and allows for segmentation. e.g. you can have separate Google groups for say undergraduates and graduate students.
  3. Use Plaintext signatures when emailing Mailman lists or Google groups. Its fine to be fancy when you are doing personal emails, but when you are doing mass emails that have higher spams scores just from being mass emails, small additions to your spam score can add up rapidly.

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