Yahoo! chipped away at Google's dominant position in the US search market during August, according to new figures from comScore.

The search engine, which is in the process of switching its natural and pay per click marketing to Microsoft's adCenter platform, saw its share of queries from home, work and university-based internet users climb by three per cent last month to 2.72 billion.

Microsoft itself also recorded an increase in its share of overall searches. Its sites handled 1.74 billion enquiries during August, up two per cent on July.

Ask Network searches climbed two per cent to 598 million, while AOL remained unchanged on 366 million queries.

Nevertheless, despite the increase in traffic for its competitors, Google remained streets ahead of the pack in terms of searches handled with 10.2 billion – or 65.4 per cent of the total.

Earlier this month, the Mountain View, California-based company unveiled Google Instant – a new "search-before-you-type" system that predicts a user's most likely query and streams results in real time.

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