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July 18, 2010

Gmail's SHVA Parameter

Ever since Google launched a new version of Gmail, back in 2007, some people wondered why Gmail's address includes a parameter called "shva".

"Just curious, what does the SHVA parameter in the new gmail URL stand for? Is it an acronym? I'm not really asking about the technical usage or the functionality; I'm just interested in the choice of name," asked BRKR. "I know GMail is not an Open-Source program so we can trace the code. But every website tries to make the URL shorter so they ideally shouldn't add redundant data to the URL," thinks Omar Dolaimy.


According to Mike Sego, a former Gmail engineer, "shva" is an acronym for "should have valid authentication". Apparently, the parameter is only included after a successful authentication.

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