Definite Guide for Catchalls & GSA Search Engine Ranker

Search Engine Ranker is one of the most versatile and useful SEO tools out there. It's a must in any SEO's arsenal. However, running GSA SER is not as easy at it seems, here are a lot of things you need to worry about. Site lists, content, emails and proxies to name a few. But here I'm going to show you how you can easily take your mind off one of these things... emails.

What are catchalls and why should you use them?

If you don't know what catchalls are, we have a piece that's going to tell you everything you need to know and more. If you want the TL;DR...

Catchalls are the most reliable & effective email solution you will find. Period.

Considering their only alternatives are disposable emails (yahoos, hotmails, etc), that bold statement is 100% true. Disposable emails are notoriously unreliable when it comes to using them in software. And for a perfectly good reason. They were designed for this kind of use. Actually, these companies don't want you using them in this automated way and they will do their best to stop you in doing so (some more than others)

Catchalls on the other hand (whether you buy them from a provider such as ourselves or set them up yourself) are optimized exclusively for GSA SER and other similar tools. They're meant to be online 24/7, constantly receiving & dealing with large number of emails and delivering them to you via speedy pop3 access. But most importantly, people running these services are working for you, rather than against you.

Best Practices

While using catchalls with GSA SER is pretty straightforward, there are a couple of simple best practices you should follow. While they will run however you set them up, by doing it this way you will ensure there are no bottlenecks and that your SER is running as smooth as possible.


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"How Many Catchalls Do I Need?"

While most people might find 1 catchall to be enough, if you're running a more powerful setup or if you're building links all day every day. (For example running a setup 24/7 with more than 100 threads or 50 LPM), 1 catchall isn't going to cut it. While catchalls don't have any strict limits on how much they can handle, if you throw too many emails at them, they will start to slow your system down. LPM is a pretty good measure of this. How many links you build per minute directly translates to how many emails are going to be received by your catchall. That is why I recommend people to calculate how many catchalls they need based on that.

From my testing I came to the conclusion that the following setup is the maximum a single catchall can handle:

  • Building links 24/7
  • LPM is over 50
  • You're deleting emails older than 5 days

You can try deleting old emails even sooner to push the limit further but based on the way you run SER, you might be deleteing emails too soon (SER doesn't get a chance to verify them).

PRO TIP: We have a table to help you determine the optimal number of catchalls for your setup based on your LPM & Threads (if you're running more than 1 server, add together LPM / Threads across all your servers).

Now obviously your results may vary as it's not really a scientific method but it's good enough for 99% of people.

  1. Time to wait between 2 logins (OFF) - No need to use it with.
  2. Use proxies (OFF) - Not using proxies to access emails is MUCH faster & reliable than using even dedicated proxies. This is another benefit of catchalls.
  3. Delete message when verification link found (ON) - It's always a good idea to leave this on because you don't want verification emails you already used cluttering your inbox – Enable ONLY if running GSA SER v10.95 or newer
  4. Delete all messages (OFF) - This should NEVER be turned on when you're using the same catchall in more than 1 project (which is all the time)
  5. Delete message if older than ... (OFF) - If you're using an email provider who does this automatically in their backend (such as ourselves), you should leave this off. If your provider doesn't support this or if you're running them yourself, you should turn it ON and properly set it (see How to Optimize Automatic Inbox Cleanup System for tips on how to set the value for your setup)

Make sure that you also disable use proxies for "email checking" in Options -> Submission:

GSA Search Engine Ranker Options

Use 1 Catchall / Project

Most people just jam all catchalls they have in all projects. Which kinda works but there's a problem with that. What this does is make SER have to login to each catchall, for each project when verifying emails!

So if you have 100 projects and 10 catchalls / project, email verification is going to take a lot of time. Each of these projects has to download the entire inbox, from each catchall in order to find the verification links it needs. And since each inbox contains emails from 100 different projects, you can see how this gets out of hand quite fast.

PRO TIP: You can easily import 1 random catchall to each of your projects with a single function - Mass Import Catchalls.

However, there is a small downside to it. If you have a total of 10 catchalls and 100 projects with 1 catchall / project, tracking which project has which catchall might be tricky. But most of the time, you don't really care. The only time when this comes into play is when you want to swap out 1 of those catchalls (see the next chapter: How & When to Swap Catchalls for how to deal with that easily)

How & When to Swap Catchalls (At least every 2 months)

After a while of using a catchall, it will start receiving all kinds of junk email. Mostly newsletters from the sites you created accounts on. That's why it's a good idea to scrap your old catchall every once in a while and get a brand new one instead (which is, again, a feature that comes with all our packages 🙂 )

Here's what you should do each time you're swapping catchalls (even if you're only swapping 1):

  1. Set all your projects to verify emails
  2. Once that's done, delete all emails that are left in catchalls (if you're swapping all your catchalls OR if your provider doesn't support this function, you can skip this step)
  3. Re-import all your catchalls, again making sure it's 1 / project

By doing this, you're making sure that you're verifying all account that you've recently built.

When not to swap

If your catchall is failing the "Test" found in your email verification tab (which shouldn't happen), swapping it won't help. If it doesn't work on one, 99% of the time it won't work on all of them. If this ever happens to you (and it probably won't but it's worth mentioning), you should contact our support immediately and we will get it fixed for you as soon as possible.

How to Optimize Automatic Inbox Cleanup (advanced)

Most people don't need to do this and the default value of 5 days is enough. However, if you want to keep your inbox as small as possible and by doing so, maximize your performance, you can tweak the Automatic Inbox Cleanup a bit.

If you're using our catchalls, you can do this in your dashboard, otherwise use "Delete message if older than..." option in email verification tab of your GSA SER projects.

Generally speaking the default value of 5 days is enough, but you can change it if needed:

  • less than 5 days - Be able to process more emails but you're risking that some emails might be deleted before SER has a chance to verify them
  • more than 5 days - if you're running huge custom verification times OR if you have a couple of days break between building links.

Also, NEVER EVER set the AICS value to lower than your custom verification time setting (project -> options tab). This make your emails disappear before SER gets a chance to process them.

Tips & Tricks

Here are some GSA SER tips & tricks that can make dealing with catchalls a lot easier.

Mass Import Catchalls

1. Select all projects you wish to modify
2. Right click -> Modify Projects -> Import -> Email Accounts -> From File

Mass Import Catchalls

3. Delete all present email accounts

Mass Import Catchalls - Delete Present Emails

4. Use only 1 catchall / project

Mass Import Catchalls - 1 Catchall Per Project

Change Email Settings in all Projects at Once

If for example you want to change all settings to recommended ones for catchalls, here's how you'd do it:

1. Select all projects you wish to modify
2. Right click -> Modify Projects -> Edit single options for all

Edit Single Options for All

3. Find the pop3 Section

Edit Single Options for All - Choose Options

4. Change each settings one at a time

  • pop3 del message (Delete message when verification link found) = 1 (ON)
  • pop3 del message days on (Delete message if older than X days) = 0 (OFF)
  • pop3 proxy = 0 (OFF)
  • pop3 wait time between logins = 1 (ON)

If you don't already have a catchall and you want to try it out, get a 30 day free trial here. You also get to download this guide for future reference.