Thanks to inbox filters and spam control, Gmail has long kept some of the cleaner inboxes, but no solution works 100% and inbox zero is still a dream for many.
For a long time, my personal solution to keeping my inbox clean has been to periodically search “unsubscribe” in the Gmail search box to bring up all the mail I have containing that search term. After that, it’s just a matter of sorting through each message to jump through the hoops of each company to verify that you don’t want their weekly, daily, or hourly updates mucking up your inbox.
A new Gmail feature is going to use a similar concept, but make it much simpler and more accessible. Google is starting to roll out a feature that will automatically search an email for the word “unsubscribe” when the email is received. If the link is hidden in the fine print at the bottom (or anywhere else in the email) it will place a shortcut in the email header for easy access.
It’s not difficult to get down to inbox zero on occasion, but maintenance can be hard and eventually many find themselves riding on dozens, hundreds, or thousands of unread messages due to email marketing, social media alerts, or other automated messages. This new addition from Google makes it easier to maintain a clean inbox once you’ve managed to sort through and remove all unwanted email.
Google’s Vijay Eranti was quoted as saying “One of the biggest problems with the Gmail spam filter is identifying unwanted mail or soft spam.” When unsubscribing from legitimate marketing emails—or any other services that the user themselves signed up for—is difficult, many messages get market as spam, which makes it harder for Google’s filter bots to differentiate between legitimate email and malicious spam.
Providing users with this tool not only gives Gmail users the tools they need to keep their own inboxes clean, but also goes a long way to helping Google’s filtering services properly identify potentially malicious messages, ensuring that when actual spam comes along, they are better able to identify and neutralize it for every customer.