Google services outage and false bounce backs

Even giants sometimes falter…

We all heard about, if not experienced, the problems on numerous services of the Google galaxy between the 14th and 16th of December 2020. Let’s analyze what happened in a bit more depth as it relates to the email channel.


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What happened?

Last week, different Google services experienced temporary malfunctions caused by a bug in the automated system that manages the memory quotas in the Google User ID Service.


Gmail was not spared from these disruptions and in the days between 14.12 and 16.12, at various moments, the service was non-accessible and Gmail users were unable to send or receive emails.

Gmail Problem

Due to these disruptions, on the MagNews side we detected a considerable and anomalous number of bounces coming from the gmail domain. Effectively this was during the down-time, many of these emails sent to Gmail recipients generated bounces due to non-existent accounts.


Below is the specific error reported by the server:


550-5.1.1 The email account that you tried to reach does not exist. Please try
550-5.1.1 double-checking the recipient's email address for typos or
550-5.1.1 unnecessary spaces. Learn more at
550 5.1.1


MagNews Management

These false positives didn’t generate any issues with MagNews since the platform automatically manages these types of situations.

In fact, at the first hard-bounce received, the contact information is moved to a graylist for 7 days, and during this time-frame, no further communication is sent to them. Subsequently, the email exits the graylist and it becomes once again possible to send messages to the contact; if a second hard-bounce is experienced, the contact is then added to the blacklist, and at the earliest opportunity, unsubscribed as a contact.


This automatic management on behalf of MagNews allowed first of all to minimize the impact of Google services. Additionally, our Deliverability Team was there to intervene and remove erroneously placed blacklist and graylist contacts during that time period.


And so, by combining the automated capabilities of our platform with the attentive work of our specialists, we were able to protect our clients from having to take corrective action!


Contact us to learn how we can help you get the most from your emails with MagNews!

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