Inbox Preview: So long Postini, Hello Google Apps!

We at Return Path are pleased to welcome Google Apps to our spam filter testing suite in the new Inbox Preview (and say goodbye to Postini)! Google Apps is Google's replacement for Postini and incorporates Postini's spam checks with several key differences. Here's an overview of what you need to know to get the most out of the new Google Apps spam filter check.

What Happened to Postini?

Postini was purchased by Google in 2007 and was maintained as "Google Postini Services." In August 2012, Google announced that it would be discontinuing the Postini services in favor of Google Apps as its cloud-based spam filter solution. With Google's migration from Postini, it's time for the new Inbox Preview to make the jump to the newest offerings and remove Postini as well. For more on Google's switch from Postini, check out our initial coverage at 8 Ways to Help Avoid Postini Filtering.

How is Google Apps Different from Postini?

Google Apps offers much less detail than Postini on why a message is flagged as spam, but it does provide some information. We're used to the Gmail spam filter check which doesn't provide any information for failures, so any rationale for a message being flagged as spam is welcome. Google Apps will tell whether an email fails its Spam and/or Phishy filters. Here's an example test result:

Failed Google Apps Spam Filter Check

The last thing you want to see when testing your email content in Inbox Preview

The Spam filter check uses Google's proprietary set of spam checks to determine whether the mail appears to be unsolicited or a bulk mailing. The Phishy filter also uses a set of proprietary Google checks to see if the email is attempting to collect sensitive recipient information. If an email is flagged as Phishy, Google Apps will also flag the email as Spam.

What Should I Do If My Message Fails Google Apps?

If your message fails the Google Apps spam filter check, take a look at some of the other spam filter checks in the Inbox Preview spam filter testing suite such as Barracuda and Symantec Cloud. These spam filter checks give details on content issues that, even if they pass, can reveal issues that are affecting the Google Apps spam filter check. If your email fails the Phishy filter, be especially on the lookout for blacklisted links in your email (which can be identified in Inbox Preview's "Link & Image Validation") and any numbers that look like you're trying to collect credit card or social security numbers.

We hope you enjoy the new Google Apps spam filter check, and good luck getting green!