Chances are over the last year or two, you’ve been asked to select which images contain a road sign, or which pictures contain a store front, when browsing the internet or submitting forms.
This is a test designed to tell the difference between computers (bots) and humans, monitoring how real people engage with the questions to block bots that intend to use the website maliciously. For example, on websites that sell event tickets, bots automate the buying process so their parent companies can sell the tickets on for a fee.
Google’s version of CAPTCHA, which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart” is called reCaptcha, and is the most widely used source of protection on the web. In their own words:
"reCAPTCHA offers more than just spam protection. Every time our CAPTCHAs are solved, that human effort helps digitize text, annotate images, and build machine learning datasets. This in turn helps preserve books, improve maps, and solve hard AI problems."
Now Google have turned their reCaptcha invisible, meaning no more annoying tests to prove whether you’re human or not! Well, almost. Google will continue to monitor user behaviour on sites, and if your visit falls into the category of ‘suspicious’ (your guess on this is probably as good as ours!), then a reCaptcha box will appear, but we’re likely to see far fewer of these tests.
The only negative we’ve seen of reCaptcha forms in the past, is their impact on user experience. While the checks obviously add value to your website security, it’s another step in the process of checking out, or submitting an enquiry.
Head of development, Andrew Womersley commented: “This update is a win win for users. From a design point of view, you no longer have to incorporate the captcha form into page layouts, which often results in an ugly checkbox. From a user point of view, the ‘I’m not a robot’ box is a confusing step for users. As 99% of web traffic will no longer see the captcha box, it creates better experiences across the web.”
You can watch Google's video about the new Invisible reCaptcha below
Shopwired, Shopify and Magento each offer similar solutions for businesses to sell their products online, however, there are two factors to consider. The first is the time it takes for you to set your store up, and the second is the ease in how your website will expand as your business does. In our experience, Shopify outperforms the competition on both as a result of its simple user interface, and the ability to customise elements to tailor the system to your particular business.
Google are making more changes to the way they display local results on your search pages. Just after we posted about local update resulting in businesses being shown based on their proximity to you, Google started rolling out an update that changes these local results when someone adds ‘best’ at the start of their search.
There are 3 main methods of improving your site: delving into your analytics data, researching your speed and technical performance, and finally, testing changes to the layout of your page to maximise conversions.
We rely on the internet for everything from talking with friends and checking the latest news, to ordering the weekly food shop and registering details for a new passport. We put highly confidential information on the internet sometimes without thinking twice, but now the focus has been put on websites to protect our information.