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Click Forensics tracks down $10 million in funding

The data-tracking company says it plans use the venture money to develop new tools to trace fraudulent pay-per-click search ads.

Click fraud is the search industry's dirty little secret--one that Google and Yahoo like to keep mum about. But a company that tracks the rates at which people, or bots, fraudulently click on paid search links just got a financial boost to work a little harder on its beat.

Austin, Texas-based Click Forensics said Tuesday that it raised $10 million in a second round of funding led by Sierra Ventures, which was joined by early investors Austin Ventures and Shasta Ventures. Sierra's managing director, Steven Williams, will join its board of directors.

The company plans to use the money to further develop its tools for tracking click fraud for online advertisers, publishers, and advertising networks. It publishes independent quarterly reports on click fraud occurrences on sites like Google, but Google representatives have said in the past that the company's data does not match its own.

In the last quarter, Click Forensics said that of all the clicks on paid search ads in the fourth quarter of 2007, an estimated 16.4 percent were bogus.