Google Chrome market share

I’ve seen a few articles recently about Google’s Chrome browser market share, some sites seem to have had quite a lot of visits from people using Chrome, which then fell off again. For example:

At the end of its third week of availability, Google’s Chrome accounted for 0.77% per cent of the browsers that visited the 40,000 sites tracked by Net Applications, down from a 0.85 per cent share the week before.

On sites that I have access to, it’s varied between 0.4% and 2.6%, not particularly climbing or dipping. I heard of others having 8% on the first week after launch, dropping back to 1 or 2% the next week.

However, these sort of stats are probably missing the point, what sites is it that people are most likely to use Chrome on?

I suspect it is Google’s own sites, or rather Google’s applications.

It is an express aim of the browser to work well on their apps, and for people to be able to create their own ‘short-cuts’ to applications.

We seem to be moving away from ‘the blue E is the internet’, to application icons for Google Mail, Reader etc. Perhaps BaseCamp and others as well. That is what I now have on Windows at least.

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8 Contributions to “Google Chrome market share”

  1. Tim Wright wrote:

    I think Chrome’s main usage is for Android, that’s why they didn’t release a Mac client as well

  2. Joe Dolson wrote:

    I’d guess that the surge of popularity was largely web developers giving the thing a try right after it came on the market. I know that I downloaded it and immediately checked out a number of my more frequently visited sites, and used it occasionally for browsing several times over the following week.

    Now, of course, I’m back to normal practice. If other web developers followed a similar pattern (and I have nothing but circumstantial evidence for this,) then the surge and ebb of browser share would be pretty well expected.

    The long-term share won’t be measurable until we’re out of the “hey, this is something new” experimentation phase.

  3. AlastairC wrote:

    Hi Tim,

    I don’t follow you on that one, I think there’s another bit of information I need for that to make sense!?

    I believe that Android is a Linux mobile platform, so how does releasing a Windows version help that?

    Also, Google has said an OSX client is to follow.

    I thought you might mean something like Safari on Windows, where Apple were getting Webkit onto Windows so people could test for the iPhone. But that’s already there…

  4. Joey wrote:

    They won’t get more market share if they treat the third party developers like this: http://www.chromeplugins.org/chrome/google-says-you-cant-use-chrome-stuff/

  5. Alun wrote:

    I think that Chrome stands a very good chance of taking off if IE 8 isn’t a spectacular success.
    IMHO FF is perceived to be “techie” and therefore a large proportion of normal user steer clear of it, whilst Google has a “friendly” image and therefore, I believe, more “normal” users would be prepared to try it and use it. I would struggle to do my job these days without all those great plug ins for FF but I’m not exactly a “normal” user, SO I’m not going to switch over to Chrome from FF but I prefer it to IE.

  6. MN web designer wrote:

    I think Chrome is going to take over once the bugs are worked out. I mean, IE8? It is boring. it just seems like IE was the browser of our uncles. It is time for a new leader and microsoft knows it. They are beefing up with campaigns on prime time network. Even playing off Apples ads.

  7. MiniMe wrote:

    I think it was well anticipated.

    Google is a big name and any product wearing Google’s logo will make a splash. Especially in the realm of the Internet, where Google is an undisputed leader. It is not surprising that with all the publicity Chrome received it captured a noticeable market share in the first few days. The interest was driven mostly by the tech-savvy demographics who wanted to see what it is about.

    The novelty of the product worn out quickly, however. Aside from the performance improvements, Chrome didn’t offer anything ground-breaking. In many ways it is sub par comparing to mainstream browsers. Additionally, overly simplistic Google’s GUI doesn’t appear to an ordinary user. Visual simplicity is the formula that worked well for the search engine – we love Google because it goes straight to the point in its search – but for the consumer products appearance play a major role. People don’t want to use something that looks and feels like a half-baked beta from early ’90s. Additionally, feature-wise Chrome isn’t quite at the FF/IE/Opera/Safari level. So the majority gave it a try, didn’t find reasons to continue using it and went back to their original browsers. Small percentage of the users didn’t mind the looks and lack of features and adopted it, giving Google 0.7% of the browser market. There are different stats, of course, especially for tech-oriented sites where FF ruled. For these sites Google comprises a larger share of visitors. In the greater schema of things, it is not very relevant, however.

    Can it considered to be a failure? It is premature to judge it, but I’m inclined to say “yes” at this point. Google has to understand that what worked for Google.com wouldn’t work for everything else. Consumers need a little more than one super-advanced feature under the hood, wrapped in a GUI designed for (let’s stereotype here) techie command-line type geeks. Google’s PR department states that the market share wasn’t the main objective, Google just wanted to induce other companies to write faster products so that Google’s paid search can deliver more adds. That is rather a poor excuse to a “we thought people would use it; we were wrong” situation. Personally I believe that Google has to change it approach on two fronts:
    a. Revise its predatory data collection practices. With every product Google demonstrates that it wants your data and it will collected with every tool at their disposal. It scares people away not only from using the auxiliary product offerings, but from the main cash-cow Google.com also.
    b. Google has to start releasing complete consumer products – complete with innovations, GIU and features found everywhere else. Not just a single innovative feature, but inexcusably sub par GUI and lacking mainstream functionality.

  8. AlastairC wrote:

    Hi MiniMe,

    I don’t really agree, as I said, I don’t think Google is trying to create a competitive browser, the features aspect is a red herring.

    Google has basically released a wrapper application that houses web applications. On Windows I don’t use ‘Chrome’, I have Gmail and Greader icons.

    I just wish they’d go all the way and allow me to specify that Firefox is my browser, so when I click a link in ‘Gmail’ (my Gmail specific Chrome instance), it opened in my default browser: Firefox.