Google will add email verification check marks for Workspace emails where the account has implemented BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification).
BIMI allows brands to verify their brand logo and implement secure DMARC protocols for their email, which then allows the account to display a brand logo as an avatar in Gmail.
Google has been rolling out the new email verification check marks to Workspace and Google personal account holders through May 2023; they announced the feature on a Workspace blog (https://workspaceupdates.googleblog.com/2023/05/expanding-gmail-security-BIMI.html) saying that the system helps users to identify genuine emails.
This comes off the back of recent moves by many platforms to display a mark or indicator that verifies the identity of the profile or brand ( See: Free LinkedIn Verification Announced for US-based users). And while Twitter falls apart over the decision to make their verification a modern day Papal Indulgence, it’s good to know that other companies are taking a more ethical view of the situation.
So what exactly are email verification check marks?
It’s a little blue check mark – that will appear next to the Brand or Email identity when gmail picks up that the brand has been verified through BIMI and has a VMC (Verified Mark Certificate).
Here’s a screenshot from the blog showing what the checkmark will look like.
What do I think about email verification check marks from Google ?
I was a bit on the fence about this one, while on the one hand, I think visual indicators such as this are good because they identify if something is genuine in a way that is easy for the average email user to spot. I don’t think though, this is going to be available for a great many businesses, because Google still won’t accept BIMI without VMC (Verified Mark Certificate), which is tech-speak for saying that your logo needs to be trademarked, otherwise Google won’t accept your BIMI details.
Many other email providers accept BIMI without VMC – allowing you to load up your logo and complete the DNS without forcing a small business or sole trader to trademark their logo.
I do consider on balance that the ability for the larger brands and corporates , who are often used by scammers to target the general public, to verify their logos (and therefore the emails that come into your inbox) is a good thing. Spoofers and Phishers can fake a lot in the wild west of emails, but they cannot verify they hold a trademark or a BIMI for a domain they don’t have control over – so for me, this one is a thumbs up!