Originally Posted by seoconj
It depends on the function. For instance, let's say you have a squeeze page with a lead generation form. You promote the page via PPC ads (no organic linking). What good would a captcha do?
If spammers don't know that the page exists, all your captcha is doing is decreasing your conversion rate. In fact, I probably wouldn't include a captcha on any mission-critical conversion form unless it's absolutely necessary.
If you have a WordPress blog and akismet is active, and you want your blog comments section to be active, a captcha seems like a very bad idea. You have a pretty good spam filter, so is it really necessary to prevent the spammers from spamming in the first place?
It discourages people from doing what you want them to do. You need to weigh the benefits of spam reduction against the costs of lower conversions / worse usability.
Business Computer Sales, Computer Repair, Networking
It would stop automated bots sending junk data to the form.
I have a few forms which receive spam for no other reason that pinging the site.
Example form data sent:
Email: [email protected]
Of course all the data is invalid, but it gives the spammer a means to check your details.
It's comparable to leaving blocking a routed port as opposed to stealthing it... It tells spammers that there is something there rather than nothing.
I'm sure you're aware that spammers don't actually check 99% of the sites they spam to.. Simply create a script to scrape google dorks, run them through a filter, then spam pages with common terms such as "your message:" and store the hits to a file for real spam at a later date (usually sold to highest bidder as "SEO").
I run a hosting company so deal with this on a daily basis and won't be changing how I do things.
Using a captcha won't decrease your conversions by a huge amouynt... Using an ugly, or hard to read, captcha will!
I think akismet is over rated.
I know of several easy ways to fool it.