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But my recipient isn’t in California…

December 4, 2013 by in News

[Edit: 12/12/13] Google has changed the way they serve images.

[Edit: 12/19/13] If you are still receiving false recipient opens, make sure you have version 2.0.90 or later, and that you have granted us additional permissions.

Over the last few days, you may have noticed that some of your Yesware tracking data is coming back with a reported location of Mountain View, CA. We’ve received several reports of this happening from our users. We are actively investigating the cause of and solution for this issue. While only a small number of users are seeing this behavior, we want to update you with what we know so far.

1. Open notifications are still accurate, but location may not be

The most important thing to know when you receive a notification that indicates Mountain View, CA, is that the email is actually being opened! It’s quite possible that the location of the open (Mountain View, CA) is wrong, but someone [Edit: 12/10/13] actually did open the email.

2. Google is testing a proxy system for inline images

While we’re still investigating the cause of this issue, we believe that Google is now downloading the tracking images in Gmail messages through a secondary connection rather than directly from your own connection. This may be connected to the new attachment viewing features they’ve rolled out.  That means that the open events are coming from Google’s IP addresses and, by extension, the location data is reflecting Google, not your recipient.

Providing you with accurate and timely data to help you close more deals is our top goal. Our engineering and product teams are working hard on the best way to address this change to Gmail. We’ll provide additional updates as our efforts on this matter progress.

UPDATE — 12/9: We’ve identified the Google IP addresses providing Mountain View, CA as the location for your notifications. While Gmail is still providing images through these proxies, Yesware will now report these events to you as “Gmail” instead of incorrect locations (see image below). This issue continues to be a top priority for us and we expect to have additional updates soon, including a fix to prevent you from setting off your own tracking through these proxies. Keep an eye out for more to come.

gmail fix

 

UPDATE — 12/10: While we continue to explore options to display accurate data on opens, we have made these Gmail tracking events free. It is our top priority to find a way to determine sender vs. recipient opens as the old way we determined that is no longer available to us with Google’s change. This is a problem that will affect everyone who uses the same tracking technology as Google rolls this out. Being unable to distinguish sender vs. recipient opens is unacceptable to us and we are experimenting with options, but none of the options are a quick fix and we want to ensure we are doing this in a well-thought-out way.

UPDATE — 12/12: We have released a new version of our extension, 2.0.88, which allows us to identify you as the sender of your message and stops the generation of recipient notifications when you open your own messages. At the moment, this fix is only available for Chrome – Firefox is on its way. If you are currently using Yesware with Salesforce, updating your extension should be the only step required to resolve the issue. If you’re not currently syncing Yesware to Salesforce, you will need to grant additional browser permissions to Yesware for the fix to take effect. You can read more about this change to Gmail on Google’s support page.

UPDATE — 12/16: There were a couple of cases we discovered that still marked sender opens as recipient opens. We have fixed this in our latest release, version 2.0.90. Recipient opens should be accurate as long as you are using a browser where Yesware is installed.