Google Chrome Stats, Three Months Out

Josh Catone
Josh Catone

Shortly after Google’s new Webkit-based browser, called Chrome, hit the streets, we took a look at how many people were using it. Our first look at the early stats found that an impressive 4-5% of users were using Chrome a couple of days after launch. Perhaps not surprisingly. given that Chrome was aimed initially at a more technical, early adopter crowd, it was Firefox that took a hit at the start rather than Internet Explorer, even though most pundits agree that Google is taking aim at Microsoft with their browser initiative, not Mozilla.

After the initial euphoria of a new browser product wore off, we noted earlier this month that Chrome usage has stabilized at SitePoint to a little over 3%, which is still ahead of the worldwide average of about a quarter of a percent to 1%.

It’s still way to early to tell what impact Chrome will have on the browser race long term, but three months is a much better sample than a single week, so it’s not a bad idea to take a look at the numbers again and see what they look like.

This latest round of browser share comparison was kicked off by Stephan Shankland at CNET, who himself has switched to Chrome because of its superior JavaScript speed. Shankland found that from September to October, visitors to CNET latched onto Chrome in larger than expected numbers. Event though just 3.6% of visitors used Chrome in October, that’s still a huge jump from 1% the month before. Firefox also jumped and IE and Safari took a hit (perhaps that’s Windows Safari users, since Chrome for Mac doesn’t yet officially exist — or perhaps that’s the work of Firefox).

At SitePoint we actually saw an opposite trend. Between September and November (this month isn’t over yet, but we think it has enough data to be included in the chart with that caveat in mind), Internet Explorer actually saw a mammoth jump in usage on our site, while every other browser dropped significantly month-over-month. The reason could be that starting in late October we’ve had an influx of traffic from Digg, StumbleUpon, and Delicious due to a handful of blog posts that have done well on those social media sites. So traffic over the past 6 weeks has been atypical for SitePoint, and thus could be skewing our numbers.

That, however, still gives us data from which we can draw some conclusions. If Chrome usage — and indeed Firefox, Safari, and Opera usage — declined when our traffic started coming from more mainstream sources, it indicates that the mainstream is still very much hooked on IE. Firefox, and Safari on Mac, may have made a dent in IE’s stranglehold on the browser market, but Chrome hasn’t even touched the mainstream.

The latest data from Net Applications affirms that theory. According to their browser share report, Chrome is used by just 3/4th of a percent of all net users — about the same as Opera. Firefox hovers around 20% and Internet Explorer maintains a commanding lead with over 70% of all use. The bit of browser share real estate that Chrome has managed to snag in just about 3 months is not insignificant, however, it is a long way from crossing the chasm.

What browsers are your visitors using this month? Has Chrome made any sort of impression? Let us know in the comments.