The worst thing that you can put on your website aside from pop ups is Captcha. No one loves captchas, and regardless if you care about what people feel towards it or not, captchas carry with them a side effect that can negatively impact you – captchas destroy SEO conversions. The situation of having little or no SEO conversions leads to having little or no money in your pocket.
A Brief History of Captcha
Back when technology and the web began to improve at lightning speed, many other elements evolved along with them, including spam. The proliferation of spam became such a great problem for common users and web masters alike that a solution to them was eventually designed.
When the solution was created, it was quickly introduced and was called CAPTCHA, or the Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. This program was created in order to weed out the spambots from the human users.
However, it turned out eventually that spambots and their makers are not idiots, and so in a short period of time they were able to find a way to outsmart captchas.
Regardless of this news, captchas are still able to weed out at least a percentage of all spam content that is significant enough to keep them going, which is practically the reason why they continue to exist today.
The use of the captcha comes at a price. Not only does captcha stop spam from entering a website, but it also stops human visitors. To make matters worse, captchas also prevent search engine bots too. For instance, if your website contains content that can only be accessed after passing the captcha test, then it would obviously be inaccessible to search engine bots. Even if they are able to do so, they would not bother filling the captcha tests in. The bots will simply look for other friendlier websites.
Probably the worst thing about captchas is the fact that they are susceptible to data loss. You may have experienced filling out a form when buying something online in the past, and then taking a captcha before your information is uploaded and finalized. If you happen to have made a mistake in what you have written in the captcha, you risk losing the information on the online form you filled up and starting from scratch once more.
Captcha Kills Conversions
There is nothing worse in SEO than losing conversions. Dealing with tons of spam is much better than losing conversions. Losing conversions is basically losing business opportunities and earnings. Although the captcha results vary from one site to another, the idea remains that conversions are negatively affected by captchas.
For example, if you use captcha on a signup form for a newsletter, the number of subscribers you have will decline by as much as half of the total number, simply because people do not have the time nor the will and effort to pass a captcha test just so they could access your website’s content. If you find that hard to believe, try it on your website yourself and take note of how the SEO conversions change.
Usually, captchas use simple tests such as filling in numbers or letters on a provided space, but since many of them come move around or use animations which distort the image, customers are turned off and look for other websites. The harder the captcha is, the more conversions you lose.
Should You Get Rid of your Captcha?
Captchas do more harm than they do good. They do not prevent all types of spam, and when they do, they include the good guys such as the search engine bots. People are also annoyed with how difficult captchas can be and how it can erase information on online forms once you fail the captcha.
It is obvious from how much damage captcha can cause you that you should get rid of it right away, and just look for new ways to protect your website from spambots.