How Google reCAPTCHA works in 2020.

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Have you made a beautiful form but do you get an error message on the website? Or do you just wonder what the private and public key settings are for? In this blog article you will learn how Google reCAPTCHA works in 2020 and you will get an answer to both questions as mentioned above.

You have created a form and placed it on a page, but when you reach that page you will receive an error message with the text “Cannot contact reCAPTCHA, Check your connection and try again”. Very annoying of course. You click on “close” because you want to continue and then see a form with a reCAPTCHA block below with the red text “ERROR for site owner: invalid site key”. The form can therefore not be used. You ask yourself what Google reCAPTCHA is and what you should do next.

What is Google reCaptcha?

Google reCAPTCHA has been developed to ensure that people are distinguished from robots. CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart . With this technology you can prove with a simple test that you are a human and not a robot. As website owner, you therefore receive virtually no spam messages. A form with a Google reCAPTCHA is therefore very secure.

Google reCAPTCHA and the use of online forms

If you take security really seriously then you must use Google reCAPTCHA to use a form. If you have not yet done anything with this you will receive the error message mentioned above and you will therefore not be able to receive completed forms. It is therefore necessary that you do something with it. This allows you to guarantee security and you will not receive spam messages later on.

Public and Private keys

The Google reCAPTCHA is linked to a public and a private key. These fields can be found by logging in and clicking on settings. You must request the required codes from Google.

Request public and private keys

To request the public and Private key you need a Google account. If you do not have this yet, create one first. Then go to the Google reCAPTCHA website and click on “Get reCAPTCHA” at the top right. Here you will find all your requested codes.

Then the field “Register a new site” appears and below that is an entry field with the title “Label”. This is a title that you can come up with yourself. We recommend that you mention the page and/or website name. After entering that, you choose reCAPTCHA V3 or a newer version if there is one. Another entry field now opens. Here you must enter the domain. This is the link of the website for which the code should be used, for example: You then accept the “Terms of Service” and click on “Register”. The Google reCAPTCHA for your website has been created (including the public and private keys).

Enter public and private keys

You can see two codes on the Google reCAPTCHA page of your website under the heading “Keys”:

  • Site key = Public key
  • Secret key = Private key

Open a new tab. Then navigate to settings. Here you see two input fields “Public key” and “Private key” at the bottom. Copy and paste the codes in the right location and click on “Save”. The codes are now active and the form that you have created should work! So, now you know how Google reCAPTCHA works, what it is for, why it’s important for the security of your online forms and how to create it without errors. Good luck!

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