Chrome was world's top browser -- for a day

Google's browser, despite being penalised for 60 days for a recent paid-links scandal, was the world's number one browser -- albeit, for a day over the weekend.

Google's Chrome browser was the world's most used browser --- for one single day over the weekend. It reached 32.7 percent of the global rankings on March 18.

Internet Explorer was relegated to second place with 32.5 percent, while Firefox a distant third place at 24.8 percent.

But it was short lived, as the divide between home and work pushed out Chrome back behind Internet Explorer, as the world returned to work where the Microsoft browser still remains the number one choice for browsing and web application use.

From Monday morning, Chrome dropped behind by 5 percentage points.

While it may be just for one day, it's nevertheless a significant milestone for Google. It comes just over two months since Google penalised itself in its Chrome search rankings for 60 days after it became involved in an advertising campaign that paid for links to increase its search ranking.

StatCounter measures its rankings on data from visits to 3 million websites, totalling 15 billion page views per month. It's not the most accurate method of gauging a browser's rankings, but it does give at least some indication of where the market share is swaying towards.

While emerging markets, such as India, Russia, and Brazil, helped propel Chrome to its top spot for one day, many developed regions are the ones lagging behind in the move from Internet Explorer to Chrome. China remains hooked on a 76 percent share in Internet Explorer, and the United States at 38 percent, while Germany is holding onto a massive 50 percent Firefox share, with Internet Explorer on less than half that.

The trend towards using Chrome at home during weekends is undeniable. But if Firefox, as the once favoured open-source alternative to Internet Explorer, wants to maintain its lead in Europe, it has to fend off Chrome.

In Europe, Firefox remains in the lead at 30.6 percent, while Chrome has been rapidly rising over the past year. It currently stands just behind at 30 percent, with Internet Explorer long in the distance at 27.8 percent.

It's fair to say that in Europe at least, it's a two-horse race between Chrome and Firefox.

Image credit: StatCounter.