We're all familiar with CAPTCHAs, those images you have to retype as text to prove that you're a real person and not a bot. The bad news for businesses that use CAPTCHA on their sites is that it seems they're pretty effective at deterring humans too.
New research from bot detection specialists Distil Networks suggests that CAPTCHA use is bad for business as it makes surfers more likely to abandon a page.
The Distil team created a trivia quiz about US history and politics, and promoted it via organic social media and paid social advertisements. A CAPTCHA was randomly placed at the end of approximately half the 1,079 quizzes served.
The results show that when a CAPTCHA was present, people were on average 12 percent less likely to continue on to the content they had come to access. More worrying given the recent boom in mobile web access is that mobile users are 27 percent less likely to to complete a CAPTCHA than desktop users.
All of this suggests that businesses using CAPTCHAs on their sites could be losing up to 12 percent of their sales leads.
You can read more about the survey and the methodology used to carry it out on the Distil Networks site. Don't worry, you won't have to fill in a CAPTCHA to access it.