Google Chrome became the world’s top browser last Sunday, thanks to users in India, Russia and Brazil who turned to Chrome over other browsers to get online, according to web analytics firm StatCounter. That honour was short-lived, however, when netizens returned to Internet Explorer (IE) dominated workplaces the next day.
“While it is only one day, this is a milestone,” said Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter in a statement Wednesday, adding that Chrome still faces a battle to unseat rivals such as IE and Firefox in countries like China, United States and Germany. StatCounter based its numbers on some 15 billion page views per month (4 billion from the US) from its network of over three million sites.
Cullen said: “Whether Chrome can take the lead in the browser wars in the long term remains to be seen. However the trend towards Chrome usage at weekends is undeniable. At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to IE”.
According to Net Applications, IE’s market share slid from 57.82 percent in April 2011 to 52.84 percent in February 2012. During the same period, Chrome’s share of the pie increased from 12.53 percent to 18.9 percent, while Firefox’s share declined from 22.7 percent to 20.92 percent.
Coincidentally, on the same day when Chrome topped the charts, Roger Capriotti, Microsoft’s director of Internet Explorer product marketing, pointed out in a blog post that StatCounter takes into account traffic from pre-rendered webpages in Chrome which may not be viewed by users. In contrast, Net Applications has discounted Chrome’s pre-rendered traffic that accounted for 4.3 percent of the browser’s daily unique visitors last month.
And unlike Net Applications, StatCounter does not “geoweight” its data based on the Internet population of each country. For example, if Net Application’s global data shows that Brazil represents 2 percent of its traffic, and the country accounts for 4 percent of global Internet traffic, each unique visitor from Brazil will be counted twice.
Methodologies aside, Chrome’s growing popularity cannot be underestimated. In February 2012, the browser was used by 30 percent of Techgoondu’s visitors, followed by Internet Explorer (20.6 percent) and Firefox (19.8 percent).