Google Chrome becomes the most popular web browser (sort of)

I was watching ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ back in 2002 when I first realised that Google was going to be a big thing. When Willow asked the question, “Have you Googled her yet?” it sounded at least vaguely suggestive, but that was the joke. Google had become pop culture. It had become a verb. What other search engine could claim that? Somehow, I doubt the phrase, “let’s Bing it,” will ever catch on.

Google Chrome logoSince then, Google has consolidated its dominance of the internet. As if any more evidence was needed, it was announced this week that Google Chrome has now overtaken Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the most popular way to browse the web. Or at least, the announcement was made one day and then got a whole lot more fuzzy the next. It seems that Chrome might be on top, but it depends what statistics you use.

The statistics in question were made available by StatCounter, a leading web-traffic analysis company. Until recently, Chrome and Internet Explorer (IE) both had a share of about a third of the browser market. Chrome has been rising steadily for some time and, according to some of the data, is now on top. There is some confusion over whether we should be looking at week-by-week or monthly figures, and there are claims that the data is not properly weighted. Whichever way you look at it, however, Chrome is big. If it isn’t already number one, it will be soon.

Graph showing the market share of different browsers

Given that Internet Explorer (IE) is the standard, pre-installed browser packaged with your average PC, this is quite an achievement. The interesting thing from a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) point of view, however, is how this has been achieved. The fact that Google may have beaten Microsoft demonstrates the power of internet marketing over broadcast media. Whereas Chrome was advertised almost completely online, Microsoft are well known for their TV ads – most recently promising “a more beautiful web”. That Microsoft’s efforts appear to have been less effective supports the view that marketing products online is increasingly important.

Of course, Chrome has not only become more popular than IE, it has beaten Firefox and all the other web browsers. SEO professionals often use Firefox in order to use tools such as SEO MozBar, but this could begin to change. There are already a wide range of SEO tools available for Chrome, and as its market share increases, the number of extensions is likely to increase. Whereas many of these tools are currently available on both Firefox and Chrome, it is quite possible that people will stop designing them for Firefox in the future.

One final effect of Google’s (possible) world domination is that web designers must take Chrome into account when building websites. Web sites must be optimised in order to look and function as they should on different browsers. This once meant that designers focussed on IE and Firefox, but now Google Chrome must be added to the list.  Failing to check the compatibility of a website with Chrome would now be a big mistake. After all, there might be more people using Google Chrome than anything else.

For effective web design that incorporates both SEO and Google Chrome compatibility, contact the experts at KPI. We have up-to-the-minute information on how people view the web, and use this knowledge to help people with their internet marketing.


About Russell Welch

Copywriter and digital marketing person. Russell used to be a History teacher, and likes gardening, martial arts and all things Japanese. Google+
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