Microsoft says that Chrome is not more popular than Chrome and underlines that the Chrome figures are misleading
Microsoft says figures that suggested Chrome was more popular than Internet Explorer were wrong
Yesterday StatCounter reported that Google’s Chrome browser became the most popular browser for a day, overtaking Internet Explorer. Today, Microsoft says those figures are false. Microsoft says that StatCounter’s data is misleading.
On a Windows blog post, Roger Capriotti breaks down how the stats for browsers are actually recorded.
He says the first way is analysing rendered pages (i.e., pages users actually visit) vs pre-rendered pages (what the browser preemptively opens based on users history). Capriotti says that from Chrome version 13, Google’s browser does the latter – opening pages that were “invisible” to users based on their history. However, users don’t click the majority of these pages and as a result the page views are artificial. Capriotti says that Net Applications started to remove the pre-rendered page views, which was 4.3% of page views in February 2012. StatCounter, though, continues to take into account pre-rendered page views.
The second way of tracking browser usage is “geoweighting”. Simply, this is looking at different countries and taking into account the percentage of page views of each country. For example, if browser usage in the UK is 20% and the CIA Internet Traffic shows it as 40% than the amount of unique visitors are doubled. Net Applications says that “if our global data shows that Brazil represents 2%, and the CIA table shows … 4%” then they double figure of unique visitors. Again, StatCounter report the data as they get it. They don’t factor in these statistics.
Countries not featured
Shown off is country data from the two different entities: StatCounter’s doesn’t feature China or Japan in the top five countries – despite China having biggest population in the world – while Net Applications does. The reason for this is that StatCounter only uses “total page views by country.”
The blog also showed the unweighted statistics vs the weighted statistics, and to quote: “Internet Explorer is under-reported by 9% when real, actual internet populations are not considered.”
The final point made by the blog post is that StatCounter only reports page hits, and doesn’t consider unique visitors. The result is StatCounter’s method of page hits can be misleading, and causes inflation on figures.