Yahoo! proved to be the big winner in the US search market last month, increasing the number of queries it handled by three per cent, according to the latest figures from Hitwise.

In the four weeks to March 27th, the company’s sites accounted for 15.04 per cent of all searches conducted by American internet users.

However, it remains some way off challenging the dominance of Google in queries and search engine marketing, as it handled 69.97 per cent of all enquiries.

Nevertheless, Matt McGee of Search Engine Land noted, this was the fourth consecutive month that Google saw its share of the market decline.

Elsewhere, Microsoft’s Bing search engine saw its share of queries drop by one per cent to 9.62 per cent, while Ask.com recorded a 21 per cent month-on-month increase in the inquiries it handled, bringing its slice of the market to 3.44 per cent.

The Hitwise figures come after comScore said that Google handled 9.4 billion searches, or 65.5 per cent of all enquiries, during February.

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