Most computer users know how irritating CAPTCHA images can be.  If you don’t know, a CAPTCHA image is the group of letters or numbers that you need to enter in order to confirm that you are a person and not a bot. CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.

Captcha Image

There are many types of CAPTCHAs that appear on websites.  One of the more common types of CAPTCHAs that you will see is reCAPTCHA.  Many different companies use reCAPTCHA including Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, and many others. ReCAPTCHA is a free service that any website can use and something you will want to consider while doing your company’s web design.  Having reCAPTCHA will reduce the amount of spam that gets to the website.

Another benefit of reCAPTCHA is that by filling out the letters, users help digitize books by giving words to humans that optical character recognition software can’t read.

Words that the OCR software can’t Recaptcharead are put into a reCAPTCHA along with a word that the OCR software was able to read.  If the user inputs the right word for what is known, then it assumes that the other word is also correct.

This is done with multiple users so that the unknown word can be verified with a number of the same responses.

So the next time you enter a reCAPTCHA, think of the good that you are doing at the same time and it will be a lot less frustrating having to enter it in.

Rob Hughes
Paid Search Analyst
Rob Hughes is a Paid Search Analyst at Big Leap who enjoys the creative aspect of online paid advertising. In his free time, Rob is a 3x Intramural Champion, a 17x Intramural Loser, and an avid climber of local mountains.