Microsoft received a boost last week after its share of the search market climbed to 13.2 per cent.

The site was able claim the increase in the highly competitive search engine market with an extra 300 million additional searches by customers during June.

The reason for the sudden surge is a chicken-themed letter scramble game which forms one of Microsoft’s Live Search club games.

Chicktionary asks players to enter a word formed from three or more letters provided by a group of onscreen hens – when the word is entered the game triggers a related search.

Microsoft was able to add an extra 35 search queries to its total each time the game was played, regardless of whether or not the player cared about the search results.

Brad Goldberg, general manager of Microsoft’s search business unit, said: "The results prove that the market is volatile."

Last Friday, Microsoft introduced Windows Live Mobile Search 2.0 for Windows Mobile and J2ME phones; the software will soon be available for BlackBerry users.

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