What criteria lead Google to show the user a CAPTCHA and solve a graphical quiz? The acronym CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing-test-to-tell Computers and Humans Apart. It defines automated systems that allow you to verify whether the user is a person in the flesh or a bot.
CAPTCHAs are used in all procedures involving user registration or requesting important information. Using the CAPTCHA, the website manager can prevent automated procedures from making entries that do not correspond to real users or forwarding a series of sequential queries without authorization.
The verification system that Google uses is called reCAPTCHA. It is used on all the Mountain View company services and is provided free of charge to web admins.
Over the years, reCAPTCHA has undergone many changes; the supported version is currently v2.
Google’s CAPTCHA and other suppliers ask the user to solve questions. In the more complex form, the user must select all the images containing the indicated object or click on the various squares proposed until the object is no longer here. These are two types of graphic quizzes that Google often offers.
In most cases, when the I’m not a robot box appears, click on the corresponding box, and a green tick will immediately appear. The green check does not appear immediately; conversely, a graphical quiz is proposed to be solved if Google has doubts about whether it is “faced” with a person or a bot.
When And Why I’m Not A Robot Appears On Google And Websites
As we have seen previously, most website managers use at least one CAPTCHA mechanism to protect as many pages and procedures that manage important data. However, I’m not a robot that can suddenly appear on the Google search engine, for example, after performing a search.
We have verified that if you always work using a static public IP address (common in the business environment) and the router’s NAT function manages several computers connected to the local network (which therefore surf the Internet with the same public IP), you may see graphic quizzes more frequently. In other words, the green check does not appear immediately after clicking on I’m not a robot.
If you go out to the network using a proxy server used by many users, if you are using a VPN client or Tor Browser, after doing a Google search, not only will the I am not a robot box appear, but a message will be shown explaining how you are detected “abnormal traffic.”
Also, in this case, Google will ask you to solve a more or less complex graphical quiz. In the case of the Tor Browser and VPN, new graphic CAPTCHAs are shown repeatedly, one after the other, confirming that Google has serious doubts about the activity coming from the detected public IP address.
This all has an explanation: Tor Browser exit nodes and VPN servers are used simultaneously by thousands of users from all over the world who query Google almost simultaneously. For Google, all traffic comes from the same machine, and by detecting many simultaneous queries, it blocks everything and asks each user to solve the CAPTCHA.
Something similar happens, for example, if you are very active on the Web and you frequently use the Google search engine with many searches carried out within a short distance of each other. Or, for example, if requests to Google came to a short distance from various systems connected to the same local network.
And then down to indicate fire hydrants, pedestrian crossings, cars, motorcycles, traffic lights, chimneys, stairs, and so on. There is a good chance that Google will often ask you to solve one or more CAPTCHAs when the user often calls up a URL that results from a search. This is done, for example, when you want to check the results provided by Google in its SERPs or you need some statistical data on the number of results in the search engine index (for example, using the site: ).
To avoid solving a particularly tedious Google CAPTCHA, click on the headphones symbol below. A short audio excerpt will be played: You can quickly solve the CAPTCHA by indicating what you heard in the box. Some browser extensions use speech recognition APIs to quickly pass the CAPTCHA and do the “dirty work” for you.
However, we do not recommend them for two reasons: first of all, it would try to artificially overcome a mechanism that has been devised to protect not only the functioning of the search engine but also third-party website administrators; according to many extensions of this type often change hands with catastrophic results in terms of privacy and security.
It should also be noted that the headset icon ( sound CAPTCHA) does not work if the Google evaluation on the public IP used by the user does not allow it. For example, with VPNs or on the Tor network, a message will appear informing the user that it is impossible to use the audio CAPTCHA: this happens because the same IP is generally shared by thousands of users worldwide.
Under normal conditions, i.e., without using either a VPN or a Tor network, it is still good not to underestimate the appearance of Google messages informing about detecting abnormal traffic. In some situations, they could indicate a malicious component on the device in use that performs automated queries on the search engine and generates unwanted traffic.
A pass with AdwCleaner in search of harmful browser extensions and plugins and a full system scan with Malwarebytes Free are mandatory steps. The appearance of CAPTCHAs while using Google with Tor Browser (but also from a VPN) is one of the most common problems: it can be overcome using the DuckDuckGo engine in these cases. Cloudflare, for its part, presented a solution in May 2021 that it believes could avoid the appearance of CAPTCHAs completely in the future.
Also Read: Five Helpful Things You Can Do With VPN