Yahoo! and Ask.com are "overwhelmingly" chosen as the fallback options when internet users cannot find what they are looking for on Google, according to a new study.

The research by ad network Chitika looked at data from 39,233 individuals who searched for the same topic on multiple search engines.

If found that in 49.5 per cent of cases, a second search after leaving Google was carried out on Yahoo!.

And in news that may be of interest to users of online marketing services, some 30.29 per cent of people turned to Ask.com for answers, while 16.4 per cent went to Microsoft’s "decision engine" Bing and 3.8 per cent chose AOL.

The firm said this was a surprising result, as based on current share of the search market, Bing should have accounted for more than 35 per cent of second searches, while Ask.com should have been on around 8.35 per cent.

Chitika research director for online insights Daniel Ruby said: "It kind of goes to show that, when you’re really struggling to find something, you’ll skip past what’s popular and search with something that’s different and unique."

According to comScore, Google sites accounted for 63.7 per cent of the US search market in May, while Yahoo! had 18.3 per cent and Microsoft took 12.1 per cent.

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