Web Marketing Today

Getting Off Blacklists

As a result of our server being recently highjacked by a spammer, our domain name has been blacklisted. Hundreds of our legitimate e-mails are bouncing back to us as a result of this. What organizations do we need to contact to explain this situation and ask that our domain name be removed from their blacklists?” — Alfonso Guerra

Blacklists are lists of domain names and IP addresses that have been reported to have been used by spammers. They are maintained by self-appointed spam vigilantes and referred to by desperate ISPs trying to filter out spam so it doesn’t sap as many resources.

It’s easy to get on a blacklist. All it takes is an accusation. The blacklist administrators make no investigation. I am often accused of being a spammer though I have never spammed.

To get off blacklists, you need to contact each blacklist administrator — if you can determine who they are and if they give you a way to contact them, which is often not the case. Sites where you can look up your status are Dr. Jørgen Mash’s DNS database list checker (http://moensted.dk/spam/) or R. Scott Perry’s Spam Database Lookup (www.dnsstuff.com/tools/ip4r.ch?ip=).

The difficulty, however, is finding out how to get off each blacklist. The best information I’ve seen so far on this is included in a service I subscribe to, Blacklist Monitor from MailWorkz. Blacklist Monitor e-mails me if my sites are newly listed in or newly removed from a blacklist. For each blacklist on which my site appears, the program includes notes on who to contact to request removal. Having said this, you may be on some blacklists because the owner of your domain’s IP address block was reputedly friendly to spammers. This you can’t do anything about. Life isn’t fair!

Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
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