It's tit for tat over at Google and Yahoo, as the search engines battle it out over how much space they are going to give their email users.

Today Google has announced that it will be doubling its email storage offering to 2Gb for its GMail customers, double that of Yahoo only days after Yahoo announced that it was increasing its storage capacity to match Google.

Google also said the increase will not be the last from the company, which intends to make further free storage increases on its Web e-mail system as user needs expand.

According to a statement on the GMail website - "Storage is an important part of email, but that doesn't mean you should have to worry about it. To celebrate our one-year birthday, we're giving everyone one more gigabyte. But why stop the party there? Our plan is to continue growing your storage beyond 2GBs by giving you more space as we are able. We know that email will only become more important in people's lives, and we want Gmail to keep up with our users and their needs. From Gmail, you can expect more."

Talking to Retuers Georges Harik, product management director for Gmail said "We plan on continuing this increase for the foreseeable future."

Harik said that "less than a few percent" of Gmail users are bumping up against the 1 gigabyte limit.

"We're doing it to anticipate what our users needs are and their needs grow over time," he said. The Web search leader did not immediately say how many Gmail accounts have been created.