SAN FRANCISCO — Google and Bing gained ground in the US Internet search market in March at the expense of Ask, AOL, and Yahoo!, according to figures released Wednesday by industry tracker comScore.

Google continued to be the prime tool used to seek online information, handling 65.7 percent of "explicit" queries as compared to 65.4 percent the previous month, comScore reported.

Yahoo! websites remained the second most popular place for Internet searches, but its portion of queries slid 0.4 percent in the month to 15.7 percent, according to comScore.

The number of online searches done using Microsoft's Bing service rose 0.3 percent to 13.9 when compared to February.

Since Bing powers Internet search at Yahoo! websites, the engine actually accounted for 29.6 percent of US queries in what was seen as positive momentum for Microsoft in the market.

Ask and AOL saw their search shares drop a tenth of a percent each to 3.1 and 1.6 respectively, according to comScore.

More than 16.9 billion "explicit core searches" were conducted in March, with Google tending to 11.1 of them, comScore reported.

Explicit searches were described as people seeking online information they clearly intended to interact with.