If you look at the age of website components that seem to be essential to creating a secure user experience, CAPTCHA technology certainly has to be considered a grandfather in that it has not changed that much in terms of concept since it was created almost 2 decades ago.
Because of its static presence, CAPTCHA is certainly a candidate for enhancement so that website publishers can leverage it to create both a richer experience for users and a form of cash flow.
Where has CAPTCHA been?
CAPTCHA started out with a basic set of words that were entered in different types of fonts that the user needed to match by re-typing the word that they saw into a box in order to advance to some task or feature on a website. Over time, some companies decided to put a database together of images of words that had never been deciphered by machines in order to have those using the CAPTCHA mechanism solve them for the database owner. This proved to be somewhat annoying for users as they too in some cases were unsure what the correct answers to the images that they were seeing were.
Later, it became popular to post pictures of addresses or street names and have clients match those images with a typewritten word. This type of implementation is still prevalent today.
How can CAPTCHA be leveraged to increase revenue?
The mechanism that causes people to view an image and then type what they see is something that does not necessarily need changes. In fact, outside of changing the paradigm like some social media companies have by going completely visual with their CAPTCHA like screens in the past there are very few current initiatives to moving away from validation via typing on the desktop.
As for the pictures that are being produced, one company, RevTap.Net, has created an interesting new service that allows publishers to post paid advertisements as the image in their CAPTCHA component. The idea is that companies can leverage their brands through CAPTCHA advertising and make use of otherwise wasted website real estate.
Does it make sense to monetize CAPTCHA?
Actually, if you think about it, it makes quite a bit of sense. The user is trapped in front of a screen that requires their absolute attention for at least 5 to 10 seconds. Marketing studies have shown that when a user types something that they visualize, they will tend to remember it better anyway. As a result, the company that advertises will get stronger exposure and the website publisher will increase the monetization of their website.
Another reason that CAPTCHA monetization makes sense is that the company that is running the website can also utilize the space to include its own advertisements to raise awareness of customers already on its site to see its products or use its services.
Overall, technology that allows you to use CAPTCHA to monetize your website is rapidly coming into vogue. The positives are that the advertising images used for CAPTCHA will gain greater scrutiny by the viewing public, increasing ad effectiveness and providing another stream of revenue for the publisher.