It appears that the marketing campaign behind Microsoft’s Bing is paying off as the new search engine has seen a slight uptick in the search engine market last month, making it potentially more interesting to companies using search engine optimization (SEO).

Statistics from StatCounter have Microsoft taking 9.41 percent of the search engine market in July, up from 8.23 percent the month before. Although the Microsoft/Yahoo deal which was announced last week is not expected to be formalized until next year, StatCounter points out that a Microhoo partnership would have accounted for 20.36 percent of the market last month.

Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, says that although a Microsoft/Yahoo combination makes up a significant amount of searches, the companies still have a long way to go.

"Bing continues to make slow but steady progress but the combined Yahoo figures suggests that the deal announced last week will have to demonstrate major future synergies if it is to make any dent in Google’s dominance," he said.

Although July’s figures show that it lost almost 1 percent of its market share in July, Google still leads the search engine industry – making 77.54 percent of all searches last month.

Microsoft and Yahoo have said that they expect their partnership to be formalized by the beginning of next year, but many in the industry expect antitrust regulators to heavily scrutinize the deal.