A customer's email is being rejected by gmail with the following codes:

Action: failed Status: 5.7.0 Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 554 5.7.0 Reject, id=17756-61 - SPAM

I see the A record for the domain, GoDaddy's web server at is blacklisted (info from mxtoolbox.com). I would assume because some site on it is infected by malware.

GoDaddy is telling me this has nothing to do with email delivery, but that they will get the server off the blacklists anyway.

The MX records point to Intermedia and the email is being sent from various places, a Time Warner NYC, Verizon DSL, ATT's mobile pool of addresses among others. So trying to troubleshoot the originating IPs would be kind of a losing battle.

So the question is - does the A record being blacklisted matter or not? I assume it can't help, but is it likely the reason gmail is rejecting messages?

And furthermore, is it possible for the A record to get blacklisted for any other reason than it being the originating IP of spam? GoDaddy is trying to convince me that somehow the domain is blacklisted, not the web server, which makes no sense to me.

If I check the IP of the web server against mxtoolbox, it comes up blacklisted. If I check the domain it does as well - I assume because the web server address is the A record for the domain. It would follow from this that any other domains hosted on that web server, whose A records point to it, would have the same problem, correct?

can't verify as I don't have access to the web server to find another domain sitting on it to test with...



It is possible, that the gmail Services is using a domain blacklist for incoming mails. In this case, the blacklist entry will effect your mail delivery.

But other reasons could be:

  • The mail looks like spam ( only html with one image without text for example )
  • The originating mailserver is blacklisted.

To track down the sending system, you just have to look at the received trace in the mailheader of the bounced mail, and watch for the last public ip, not from gmail.

I assume that the mail is not send by any system under your control, or i misunderstand your question in that point.

To look up all blacklist, you could use http://multirbl.valli.org/

  • I know the originating mail servers are not blacklisted.The 'received trace' address is, which is the IP of a Hilton Hotel, which apparently is blacklisted by two out of all on the blacklist check you recommend. One says ignore, no one is using this and the other might be significant. In the meantime, the customer remembered that this happened before when they were staying at the same Hilton. So I assume that in this case the A record was not the culprit. But it can't hurt to have that cleaned up. – zentech Mar 4 '13 at 15:23
  • 1
    @zentech Your customer should be sending mail to their own outgoing SMTP server, not directly to its destination. – Michael Hampton Mar 4 '13 at 21:20
  • @hampton - they are sending all messages through their email provider's smtp relay. – zentech Mar 15 '13 at 3:21
  • @zentech if they would, the origin IP would not be the hotels public IP – Thomas Berger Mar 15 '13 at 14:52

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