Posted on March 13, 2017 by James Duquenoy
Google’s reCAPTCHA service has helped to weed out fake traffic (which costs advertisers billions every year) and stop bots from maliciously submitting forms on the internet for years. However, the awkward letters and numbers were often difficult to read and could even deter users from completing a form. Google’s latest version of reCAPTCHA is now completely invisible to users, and instead works in the background to automatically detect if someone is a human or a bot.
The first version of CAPTCHA required users to identify a sequence of letters, numbers or images, which was time consuming and frustrating. Then Google’s updated reCAPTCHA came along and replaced the awkward images with a simple one-click checkbox. If Google was in any doubt, the user had to solve a simple puzzle (such as “select all the pictures containing trees”). This was a huge step forward – offering more advanced bot detection with minimal interaction for the user.
The latest version of Google’s reCAPTCHA, just released this month, makes bot detection even more powerful – and doesn’t require any action from the user. It works in the background to determine if a user is a real human being or a bot through a combination of machine learning and advanced risk analysis (of course Google hasn’t given much more detail about how this system works).
If Google thinks a user is potentially a bot, they’ll still have to pass the usual checks and challenges to prove their innocence. This discrete bot detection means websites can remain safe from bots without any impact to the site’s design or user experience – which is good news for everyone.