CAPTCHA Alternatives

By admin

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In last week’s blog, I talked about CAPTCHAs and that they are bad news and horrible for conversion optimization ( That CAPTCHA is Costing You Money). This week, let’s take a look at some alternatives that can help fight SPAM bots and have less of an effect on website conversions.

The Honeypot

This anti-spam method adds a field to each of the forms on your website. To the site visitor, this field is not actually displayed and is hidden with CSS. Spam bots, while crawling the web, will still see this field and put information there, thus telling your system to flag this lead as spam. The honeypot often comes with form plugins for most content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.

Simple Math Question

Another option is to display a math equation that requires simple arithmetic.

Block Spam by Math

Image source and plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/block-spam-by-math/screenshots/

This option is very easy to implement with either a little Javascript code or plugins for your CMS.

Use a Checkbox

This option is simply display a checkbox that confirms the submission is not SPAM. It also can be implemented with Javascript that loads the option (so SPAM bots won’t see it), but could cause issues if browsers have Javascript turned off. Very few internet users have this turned off.

SPAM checkbox

Image source and plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/growmap-anti-spambot-plugin/screenshots/

Are You a Human?

This one is pretty unique and very effective with blocking spammers. I am willing to bet it has a negative effect on website conversions, but it is fun and worth mentioning. The solution asks the user to complete a fun task in a game-like environment.

Are You a Human?

 Image Source and Plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/are-you-a-human/screenshots/

Conclusion

SPAM is always going to be a problem. Standard CAPTCHAs are the worst. If you have a large number of leads coming to your site and lots of spam, I think the best way to filter some of that out is with the honeypot or using a simple math question.

As with all technology and as we’ve evolved to attempt to stop SPAM, SPAMers will always find new ways to circumvent our efforts. While my two preferred methods aren’t perfect and won’t stop all SPAM, it will surely reduce the amount of junk you will need to filter through to find your true leads.

 


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