Sitting on the 86 tram to work this morning I saw an article pop up on my Twitter feed stating Google's Chrome web browser was now the most used browser in the world. Surely not I thought, I look at the analytics data from a wide range of sites, some of which attract a large amount of traffic, and not once have I ever seen Chrome as the most used browser. So of course I read the article with great interest, when I'd finished I was going to comment but thought I'd come to work and check over the data I have access to and compare.
I used our top 5 most visited sites which in the past 12 months have attracted over 6.5 million visits, these sites range from health and outdoors to apparel and adult products with an average of 66.84% of new visitors. In all cases IE was the most popular browser with the exception of the adult related site, the most popular here was safari and this is due to the fact over one third of their traffic comes from mobile.
More interesting is the fact that asides our adult related site, Safari was the second most popular browser in the other 4 cases which makes me wonder if the statistics this article was based on includes mobile data or not? I also looked at the other 35 sites I have access to and the story was the same across the board. The two exceptions were a couple of technology related sites where Firefox was more commonly used followed by Chrome, you would expect this as those viewing these sites are tech savvy and wouldn't be caught dead using IE (unless testing browser compatibility).
Based on the averages of the data I used, along with the other 30 odd sites showing similar figures, the below stats seem more likely to me. I think it's also worth noting these sites are mainstream sites used by a large number of everyday users;
Internet Explorer = 37.55%
Safari = 25.72% (Keep in mind iPhone/iPad use)
Firefox = 17.46%
Chrome = 14.69%
Sure it's far from the largest data set out there, but the volume of traffic is considerable and seeing as though Chrome placed last of the top 4 browsers consistently, I'm not convinced just yet.