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What Does Gmail’s CDN Image Caching Update Mean For You?

If you’re close to the Email industry, you may have heard about some of the recent changes Gmail made to their web interface, and how it’s affecting senders.  Gmail recently introduced caching of images within emails on their local CDN network.

Once a recipient opens their new email message within Gmail, Google reads the images from their source, stores them on their CDNs, and serves their local CDN copy.  The major catch is that this local CDN copy is used for all subsequent opens of the same email, therefore eliminating any user engagement tracking of multiple opens.

This struck a chord with many in the email industry as they would lose not only subsequent opens, but also some additional demographic information such as geolocation based on the client IP address, browser, and operating system types.

Our Deliverability and Product teams jumped on the issue and performed some testing with our Dyn Email Delivery system today and found that due to an intricacy with the way our system tracks email opens, our customers will continue to register every open a recipient performs. We will continue to watch this update in case anything changes with Gmail’s update.

Some important notes to anyone serving images based on geolocation, you’ll want to review your strategy with your Gmail clients.  During our testing, all the images opened came from IP addresses from Google’s data centers in Mountain View, CA.  If you’re using a geolocation service, like with Dyn’s Traffic Director, these recent changes will begin to shift traffic to your California or West Coast region.

If anyone has any questions on how this change might effect them, our teams are always there to make sure your making the most out of your internet performance.


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Whois: Mike Veilleux

Mike Veilleux is the Director of Product Management for Dyn, a cloud-based Internet Performance company that helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Follow Mike on Twitter: @MikeVeilleux and @Dyn.