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The new version of Google's reCAPTCHA allows you to seamlessly block bot activity on your website without having to challenge genuine users.
Don't you just hate it when you check the "I'm not a robot" box only be greeted by the dreaded grid of "Select all squares with street signs"? You're not alone, your website visitors do too with reCAPTCHA v2 offering challenges to around 50% of all users.
Scores not challenges
CAPTCHAs have got less intrusive and easier for humans over the years, evolving from difficult to read text, to just ticking or a box or selecting images. Google promises this third version will provide a "frictionless" experience by fundamentally changing how sites can test for bots. Version 3 will return a score that tells you how suspicious a particular interaction is, removing the need to challenge users at all.
Detecting bots with actions
A new concept called an "action" is being introduced, which is essentially a tag that you can put on key steps in a user journey, which gives reCAPTCHA the ability to run its risk analysis in context. The risk engine is 'adaptive' and Google recommends adding it to multiple pages so it can understand the distribution of bot activity on your website and react accordingly.
As reCAPTCHA v3 is providing you with a score, rather than simply challenging the website visitor, this gives you as the webmaster some different ways you can react.
1) You can set a score threshold where if an activity is too suspicious, you can use further verification to identify the user is human, such as 2FA.
2) There is the option to combine the reCAPTCHA score with any internal signals that you might be tracking on your site, such as if a user is logged in and therefore verified. This allows you to adapt reCAPTCHA not to bother users that you know are definitely or have a statistically very high chance of being genuine.
3) Use the reCAPTCHA score as one of the signals to train your own machine leaning model to protect your site.
reCAPTCHA can help with your marketing campaigns
The difference between success and failure of a PPC campaign can be how well the site converts. Even if you're bidding on the right keywords, with the right audiences and spending time optimising your accounts, if your competitor's website converts better than yours, they can afford to outbid you and push you out.
The universal trend we've seen proven countless times over the years is that reducing friction for users results in a higher conversion rate. Whether it's making pages load faster or making them work on mobile, making this better for your users will make you more money and open up a lot more options with your digital marketing.
Bonus trivia: CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart!
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