Is outsourcing to Google Mail really the way to go?

I've been a proponent of outsourcing to Google Mail. Specifically, I favor:

  • Having your own domain, managed by the hosting company of your choice
  • Pointing your MX record at Google Apps, and receiving your email there

Now, there have been various reports of Google mail outages, along with bad or non-existent Google technical support. I myself have had recurring brief trouble with outgoing mail at one of my domains. (My workaround is just to send from the other of the two email domains I use. This works for everything except Yahoo Groups, and within an hour I can resend to there anyway. If I only had one domain, I might do my retries through my web hosting company when Google is hiccupping.) I've even made fun of Google Mail's ads.

But Google Mail has two huge advantages.

  • Google's Postini-based anti-spam really works. Mailing lists occasionally get hit with false positives, but even those are rare. I think I've only had one truly bad false positive ever, and that was months ago. (I do check the spam folder carefully on my address, which would be the one where new business leads would come in.)
  • Denial-of-service attacks are no longer a problem. I've had bad ones a couple of times, but Google withstands them easily.

Please note that those are both advantages of scale. If there is another large email outsourcer with better customer service, that would be wonderful. But a hosting company using SpamAssassin isn't good enough.

Obviously, if you use Google Mail, you should also have all your mail backed up elsewhere, but that happens automatically if you use an offline mail client, like Outlook or Eudora.

Edit: Rick Broida has the same idea, and offers step-by-step instructions.

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