July 21, 2010, 2:29 PM

Click fraud rises to 18.6%

That’s up 6.9% from the first quarter.

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Click fraud rose in the second quarter of this year, both compared to a year earlier and compared to the first quarter, according to Click Forensics Inc., which audits traffic quality for online advertisers and networks.

18.6% of paid clicks on web ads were fraudulent in the second quarter, up 6.9% from 17.4% in the first quarter, and a 46.4% jump from 12.7% in the second quarter of 2009, according to the Click Fraud Index from Click Forensics. Click here to see click fraud percentage rates since 2009's first quarter.

“Over the past several quarters, we’ve seen the overall click fraud rate slowly trending higher,” says Paul Pellman, Click Forensics CEO. “The main reasons appear to be the continued sophistication of botnets and malware prevalent in the fast-growing search marketing space.”

The countries outside the United States responsible for the greatest volume of click fraud were Singapore, Pakistan, Japan, Ukraine and China.

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