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[Resolved] Poor Reputation - Can it actually improve?


skeight
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Hi All,

I recently started receiving some bounce backs from my web server that sends out emails for multiple domains (shared across multiple clients) due to having a poor reputation.

I have gone through the following checklist to make sure that everything was good.

1. Check that it's not an open relay - no problem, don't accept connections on port 25, it's outgoing from webapps only

2. Check for inclusion on any blacklists - no problem, not on any blacklists

3. Ensured that hostname is correct and RDNS is setup - no problem, this was already done

4. Found out about SPF records and added my server as a valid server to send email for the domains in question - *fixed*

5. Checked logs to ensure that none of the webapps were being used to send out bulk spam - fine, no issues that I can see.

I should also note that I have two scripts that run that send out emails. 1 is to a small list of about 200 people which includes a weekly report and the second is a monthly newsletter that goes to about 2000 people. There are occasional (1-3 times a month) other press releases and whatnot that get sent out through a newsletter system as well and that can range from 500-5000 people depending on the group that is to receive it.

So on to my questions...

1. Would invalid SPF entries cause me to have a poor reputation or am I potentially missing something else?

2. If that was all that was required, how can my reputation be improved when emails are still being blocked because my server has a bad reputation?

Any help would be appreciated. I could just route all the email through another server but I would much rather see the reputation of this server go up.

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Hi, skeight

...Sorry to hear of your problem.

...Since your post does not seem to be related to the SpamCop blacklist, I am moving it from the "SpamCop Blocklist Help" Forum to the "SpamCop Lounge" Forum.

...Were you told what person/ organization/ facility was rating your domains' reputation as poor? If you do a search in the SpamCop Forum you will find some discussion of SenderBase ratings.

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Sorry for posting in the wrong section. I had seen some other posts regarding reputation so I thought I had the right place.

The poor reputation is from ironport/senderbase. I know its not directly related to this forum but seemed to be the only place that had some discussion regarding it.

I did a bunch of searching but the posts I saw were resolved by "you're in a blacklist" which doesn't apply (as far as I can see).

Here's a link to my reputation page...

http://www.senderbase.org/senderbase_queri...ing=96.31.86.29

Any help/thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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<snip>

The poor reputation is from ironport/senderbase.

<snip>

...Okay, thanks!
I did a bunch of searching but the posts I saw were resolved by "you're in a blacklist" which doesn't apply (as far as I can see).

<snip>

...Odd, my very first hit when I searched for "Senderbase reputation" using the textbox (near the top of this page, between the white button labeled "Search for -->" and the blue button labeled "GO") led me to a SpamCop Lounge "thread" called "SenderBase Reputation score" and which has what appear to be helpful posts by Farelf and dbiel. Do these seem to you to be relevant to your situation at all?
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Odd, my very first hit when I searched for "Senderbase reputation" using the textbox (near the top of this page, between the white button labeled "Search for -->" and the blue button labeled "GO") led me to a SpamCop Lounge "thread" called "SenderBase Reputation score" and which has what appear to be helpful posts by Farelf and dbiel. Do these seem to you to be relevant to your situation at all?

Thanks. I was searching for things like "improving poor reputation" so I didn't come across this. Lots of good reading here and hopefully it will give me something to go on...

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A quick check against http://multirbl.valli.org/dnsbl-lookup/96.31.86.29.html shows no serious/widespread current spam reports are in evidence and the SenderBase lookup (http://www.senderbase.org/senderbase_queri...ing=96.31.86.29) certainly confirms none of those "major blocklists" it heeds are involved (though maybe they keep a few "up the sleeve" - not disclosed at that level). At the same time it (SB lookup) shows your throughput in the receiver addresses monitored by them to be quite low - about 630 messages last month (not currently), based on a SB magnitude of 1.5 (2*10(1.5+1)≈632).

So I guess the matters you need to address are whether any of that reputation score is a carryover from (supposing) before you had exclusive use of that IP address (would take a while - unless SB intervenes - to get the "ham" in the ham:spam ratio up at the current rate) and how closely you hold to mailing list "best practice". Even following best practice there are problems - people who forget they signed up, people who report before they think (be careful with message subjects), people of "bad intention" for whatever reason.

Talking of which ... if you Google the IP address and "spam" you will find some old spam hits (10-15 months ago) including (mostly) comment spammers dropping their worthless links into bulletin boards/forums. If you had the IP address back then you might like to check whether any of those are on your current mailing lists because someone has stopped them in their tracks back then (Bravo!) - and if that someone was you ... "They" don't usually take it so personally these days ("professional" spammers, just what we needed <_< ) but apparently it's not unknown.

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A quick check against http://multirbl.valli.org/dnsbl-lookup/96.31.86.29.html shows no serious/widespread current spam reports are in evidence

<snip>

Thanks for the blacklist link. I've never found that one and it's way better than what I was using before.

So I guess the matters you need to address are whether any of that reputation score is a carryover from (supposing) before you had exclusive use of that IP address (would take a while - unless SB intervenes - to get the "ham" in the ham:spam ratio up at the current rate) and how closely you hold to mailing list "best practice". Even following best practice there are problems - people who forget they signed up, people who report before they think (be careful with message subjects), people of "bad intention" for whatever reason.

Talking of which ... if you Google the IP address and "spam" you will find some old spam hits (10-15 months ago) including (mostly) comment spammers dropping their worthless links into bulletin boards/forums. If you had the IP address back then you might like to check whether any of those are on your current mailing lists because someone has stopped them in their tracks back then (Bravo!) - and if that someone was you ... "They" don't usually take it so personally these days ("professional" spammers, just what we needed <_< ) but apparently it's not unknown.

I did the google search and I see what you mean. It seems like most of the entries were around April 2010 and I took over this IP address in September 2010 so these reports were definitely from whoever had the server before me. Is there anything I can do about this or is it just a matter of keeping a good reputation long enough to override what the people before me did?

On a side note, I've always hated spam but after this I *really* hate spammers!

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...It seems like most of the entries were around April 2010 and I took over this IP address in September 2010 so these reports were definitely from whoever had the server before me. Is there anything I can do about this or is it just a matter of keeping a good reputation long enough to override what the people before me did? ...
I recall one of the previous sufferers from low SB reputation concluded his saga with tips on how to get through to them about (resolve) this sort of problem. Darned if I can find the one I'm thinking of offhand but probably this (other) post covers much of the ground: http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?...ost&p=73342 (from the 4-page amalgamated topic that ran for some 7 months a couple of years ago).

An official publication on the reputation score is at:

http://www.ironport.com/pdf/ironport_sende...re_overview.pdf

- if you read that you will be able to talk the same language as any Cisco/SB/IronPort representative you might contact.

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Thanks again for all the links.

I sent an email off to senderbase support last night explaining the situation and I am now back at Neutral on their site. I'm not sure if the email made a difference of if it fixed itself now that I have the SPF records for the domains that I send from, but nevertheless it is fixed now.

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