Web browser measurements changed and Google's Chrome rating suffers

Web browser measurements changed and Google's Chrome rating suffers

Summary: Google Chrome is still popular but Net Applications' new measurement rules pushes the popular Web browser numbers down.

TOPICS: Browser, Apps, Google

Net Applications revised Web browser numbers has Chrome in third place.

Net Applications' revised Web browser numbers has Chrome in third place.

After months of gaining Web browser market share, Google's Chrome Web browser numbers have gone down according to Net Applications. It's not however that Chrome has grown any less popular, it's how Net Applications is measuring Web browser usage.

Google's Web browser, starting with Chrome 13, uses a technique called 'pre-rendering' to speed up Web page loading. This pre-loads page or pages "while the user is typing in search queries in order to load that page faster when the user clicks on the associated search result link. Chrome pre-renders pages based on either HTTP headers inserted by the site creator or based on an algorithm that predicts the likelihood the user will click on the search result link." Google started using this technique more aggressively in the latest version of the browser, Chrome 17.

This results in faster page loads for users, but Net Applications believes "this traffic varies significantly by browser and should not be included in the usage share for the browsers." At this time, "Chrome is the only major desktop browser that currently has this feature, which creates un-viewed visits that should not be counted in Chrome's usage share. However, the pages that are eventually viewed by the user should be treated normally. Therefore, "Within the sites in our network, pre-rendering in February 2012 accounted for 4.3% of Chrome's daily unique visitors. These visits will now be excluded from Chrome's desktop browser share."

The bottom line is Chrome is still in third place, by Net Applications' measurement. Microsoft's Internet Explorer is still in first with 52.84% market share, but it's also continuing to lose marketshare. IE is from 52.96% in January. Firefox kept second place position with 20.92%. After the penalty, Chrome is down to 18.90% from 18.94%. In short, even without the pre-rendering count, Chrome's popularity is still climbing. As for the minor-league browsers, Safari move up to 5.24%, up from 4.90% and Opera also climbed up to 1.71%, from 1.67%.

So, no matter how you measure it, it still seems a sure bet that Chrome will take over second place from Firefox sometime in 2012. And, who knows, maybe even IE will fall to it in time. Indeed, according to another Web browser popularity measurement company, StatCounter, the latest version of Chrome is already the single most popular Web browser in the world.

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Topics: Browser, Apps, Google

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  • Right - next we'll hear

    that "Google+ is growing faster then any software in history, but how they track usage hs "changed" - Google+ really [b]isn't[/b] dropping off. ;)
    William Farrel
    • By SJVNs earlier projections, Google+ should have about 5 Billion users

      But, then again, he also anticipated that ChromeBooks would be everywhere too.

      So.... in other words ..... Don't believe the hype. Use the products and services that best fit your needs, not those recommended by a pundit.
      Your Non Advocate
      • I could not agree with you more.

        [i]Use the products and services that best fit your needs, not those recommended by a pundit.[/i]
        Tim Cook
  • lol

    sjvn popularity is shrinking faster than IE's market share....
  • Chrome is crapware auto-installed with many other tools

    Chrome has NEVER being popular. It is just crapware auto-installed with other applications.

    It is hard to find tools today that doesn't try to install Chrome with it. Most people don't even realize that their browser was hijacked by the almost stealth (ie: most people just blindly click the Next button) installation of Chrome when installing other applications, even paid ones.
    • I don't use Chrome

      But that has nothing to do with these numbers. These aren't installs, these are unique page visits.
      • Bingo

        These are unique page visits using Chrome and it is NOT automatically installed. It is given as an option, albeit a pre-selected one, in most applications I have downloaded recently.
    • Chrome is not that bad

      @Aerowind says right. These are unique page visits. Chrome is really popular because it has speed(Up until last year, I used IE9, but Chrome continuously pushes updates more often that IE, so vulnerabilities, etc are fixed early, new versions also improve speed, pre-page rendering,etc), compatibility(I refer to extensions in Chrome Web Store), simple,easy,etc. OK, Chrome is not everyone's choice. It lacks built-in RSS support(external extension is required), is not as safe as IE(as least Microsoft and other 3rd party sites say this),etc. But to say that Chrome has NEVER been popular is crap.
  • I have as of yet not seen a compelling reason to switch away from Firefox

    Linux Mint 12 KDE running LSM puts Firefox in a iron-clad safe sandbox.
    And that means no zero-day worries Folks.

    So, why not switch to Linux with LSM?
    Linux: The safest operating system on the Planet.

    I stake my reputation on it.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • I imagine a failed reputation

      is still a reputation.
      Tim Cook
    • RE: Web browser measurements changed and Google's Chrome rating suffers

      [i]Linux Mint 12 KDE running LSM puts Firefox in a iron-clad safe sandbox.
      And that means no zero-day worries Folks.[/i]

      By default?
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Chrome and Opera

    I like Chrome, personally. I use that and Opera the most.

    The only time I've ever had Chrome or Chromium installed is when I purposefully installed it myself. Never had it done by crapware or auto-installed in any other fashion.
  • Stop using Google prodcuts...

    A company which has no respect for people's privacy and no respect to IP doesn't deserve to be respected. Dump there snoopy prodcuts.
    • Yawn

      You ought to change your name to parrotnet.

      An obvious paid Microsoft shill
      • Wake up

        Actually he is right. All Google apps and services are spyware. They even admit it. If you want to try Chrome, use Chromium. It is open source and does not include Google spyware, works pretty much the same.

        I use Firefox and Chromium on my Macs and WinPC's. But I prefer Firefox for its choice of extensions.
      • As you might consider changing your screen name

        to that of Parrotpesh?

        It has been clear for some time, with your overly anti-Microsoft postings, that you most likely are a paid shill for a Microsoft competitor.

        Tim Cook
  • I've seen this data manipulation-justification before, ...

    and apparently for the same reason: to augment Microsoft's numbers.

    About seven or eight years ago the Netcraft numbers on Internet servers running Apache (Linux) took a drastic drop, while simultaneously those running Windows rose. The reason? GoDaddy switched from using 5,000 Linux servers to park domain names on, to using Windows. Netcraft counted ALL them as "active" servers, even though they were not serving pages to anyone. Meanwhile they dropped thousands of Google Linux servers because they were not "active", according to Netcraft's definition.

    It seems like NetApplications, (didn't it used to be a rebrander of Windows EXEs?) has taken a page from Netcraft's spin book.
    • Yes, it is all about Microsoft

      As it can have nothing to do with anything else.

      When Microsoft's numbers are "bad" then the data is 100 percent accurate. When the Microsoft numbers are "good" then it is obvious that Microsoft paid the company off, or their data is not accurate at all.

      Tim Cook
  • Chrome take over? probably not

    I use Chrome on a daily basis. However, until Google fixes the multimedia problems, like videos not running properly by default, the average user and IT department will stick with IE for simplicity.

    FF is a pig. Don't know how else to say it. Sucks up memory, doesn't return it when closed, and about a minute or so into a session just locks up for half a minute or so. IE and Chrome don't have those problems.

    So, while technocrats don't like IE, the technotards that do 90% of the work out there just want simplicity and at present, IE offers that.

    It would be interesting if one could see numbers of users instead of page views as page views are always skewed by the type of sites being followed. If you saw the actual user numbers, IE would probably be considerably higher percentage as most normal people do use IE, but surf considerably less than technocrats.

    So, Steven, how about some user numbers instead of page views as Page Views are pretty much useless to show user acceptance?