If you are a Gmail user you have probably gotten the popup upon login that images are now enabled by default. This coincides with Gmail announcing a couple of weeks ago that they will be caching and serving the images from their CDN to speed up browsing email.

google images warning


You also have a option to disable this in your settings to go back to the “Ask me before displaying” just like the old Gmail setup.

default switch

Personally, I feel this is a new spam signal that Gmail will use to adjust their already great spam detection system.

The biggest single problem that Gmail has with spam is mass mailers (spammers)  is using 100% images that contain keywords that would be flagged as spam.  I am guessing they are trying to OCR (optical character recognition) but that is a monster in itself.

Also these spammers get around easy detection systems by sending from a slew of different IP addresses,  subject lines,  alt tags for images, and other items.

By caching these images Gmail can now use that as a signal when enough people report the email as spam and either not display the image,  flag all emails with that image as spam,  or even replace the image with a “this is spam” or something.

Many people have written various theories on this but only time will tell how its going to be implemented.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

18 thoughts on “The new Gmail changes, Why they did it, and what they mean to email marketers”
  1. Thanks for clarifying, I was wondering why the change happened but hadn’t given it much thought.

  2. Yea but spam filters too often put the wrong kind of emails into their categories. As a marketer I’m seriously worried about how this will affect my ability ot reach my customers/buyers.

  3. Thank you thank you thank for letting me know that I can turn the images off. I HATE that it automatically does it now. Yay! now I can change that.

  4. I’m sick of getting flagged as a spammer as soon as I find something taht works, I’m back to square one.

  5. I also got an notification from gmail about this. According to me it’s not a big change because in my 90% of gmail viewing I always go for basic html. I loved the old gmail and there is a option for showing and not showing images too

  6. Actually I had noticed it but didn’t give much attention to it. Nice info you have here. I have always loved Gmail.

  7. nice article..thanks for the updates…!!changes are always good but its hard to accept first…only difficulty is that..!!

  8. User Bandwidth and network connectivity speed is increasing day by day. Previously users used to have slower internet, and loading images by default would slow down the browsing significantly.
    But now time changed, most of the users have adequate bandwidth to handle loading of images by default without compromising user experience.
    I think this is a good move by Google.

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