The rate of click fraud, the practice of a program or computer script imitating a person to click on a Web advertisement among normal clicks, rose to 15.3% during the fourth quarter of last year. It was 14.1% during the previous quarter, according to data released by Click Forensics Inc.
However, the rate of click fraud was down year-over-year from its record high of 17.1% during the fourth quarter of 2008. The data measures cost-per-click campaigns from advertisers across search engines, shopping networks and Web publishers. The information also represents traffic from more than 300 ad networks.
The rate of click fraud was 12.7% for Q2 of 2009, and 13.8% for the year’s first quarter.
Paul Pellman, CEO of Click Forensics, said that click fraud during the period was “the lowest we’ve seen for this time of the year.”
“This seems to indicate that that ad networks, publishers and the search engines themselves are doing a better job of catching the click fraud spikes that have become common during the busy search marketing holiday season,” he said in a statement.