Google Chrome catching up with Mozilla/Firefox in Europe

December 2011 - Browser Barometer

Perimeter

  • Study carried out from the 1st to the 31st December 2011
  • Cross section of 14,455 websites

Published on 07/02/12 – Google Chrome continued its growth to reach an average visit share of 18.2% in Europe at the end of 2011, reducing the gap with Mozilla/Firefox which experienced a downward trend in 2011. Internet Explorer has been unable to control the decrease of its visit share whilst Safari broke the 1 out of 10 visit mark in December 2011.

Google Chrome accounts for an average of almost 1 out of 5 visits in Europe in December 2011

The graph below shows traffic distribution by browser; it is an estimation of the average distribution of visits which were recorded on websites in Europe in the months of December 2010 and December 2011. The traffic distribution for 23 different countries was estimated (for further information on this please read the Methodology).

  • Google Chrome, 3rd in the browser top 5 in Europe, reached 18.2% of traffic in Europe in December 2011:+7.9 points compared to December 2010.
  • Safari, 4th with 10,8% of traffic in Europe, continued its growth with a gain of more than 3 points between December 2010 and December 2011.
  • The leader, Internet Explorer, has lost more than 8 visit share points between December 2010 and December 2011, hovering around the 40% mark. In December 2011, on average 40.9% of visits to a website in a European country were made through Internet Explorer compared to 49.2% in December 2010.
  • For its closest challenger, Mozilla/Firefox, 2011 was not a sumptuous year: -2.9 points in one year. Mozilla/Firefox’s visit share decreased from 29.8% of traffic in December 2010 to 26.9% in December 2011 in Europe.
  • Opera maintains its 5th position with 2.3% of traffic in Europe in December 2011.

The gap is getting smaller each month between Google Chrome, in 3rd place and the current number 2, Mozilla/Firefox

The following table shows traffic distribution by browser, an estimate of the average distribution recorded on websites in Europe over the last 6-month period.

Between July and December 2011, Google Chrome’s visit share increased by 3.8 points in Europe:

  • Google Chrome gained market share each month (between +0.6 and +0.9 points depending on the month in question) reducing its gap with Mozilla/Firefox: in July 2011, the gap in visit share was 14.3 points, compared to 8.7 points in December 2011.

Safari has not been outdone with an increase of 2.1 points:

  • A large increase of 1.1 points between November and December 2011 (due to Christmas?) allowing it to break the 1 out of 10 visit mark.

Internet Explorer’s visit share dropped each month (-4.5 points over the last 6 months):

  • In December in particular: -2.1 points compared to November 2011.

Mozilla/Firefox has also decreased by 1.8 points since July 2011.

 

Google Chrome, the number 2 browser in Spain, with 1 out of 4 visits

We are now going to have an in-depth look at the countries concerned by both the evolutions of Internet Explorer and Google Chrome which are greater than the European average: Greece, France, Portugal and Spain.

The graphs below provide more information on these 4 European countries. They show an estimation of the average distribution of the top 5 browsers in visit shares, for websites in each of these 4 countries, between December 2010 and December 2011.

In Spain, Google Chrome took 2nd place in the browser top 5 with 1 out of 4 visits on average in December 2011 (25.3% compared to 18.2% in Europe):

  • Google Chrome experienced the largest increase in visit share in Europe over a one year period: +12.7 points.
  • Internet Explorer experienced the largest decrease (-15.7 points) whilst remaining the leader with 41.7% of traffic on average in December 2011.
  • Safari progressed with a gain of almost 4 points in one year.

In Portugal, Google Chrome is the 2nd leading browser with an average visit share of 21.7% in December 2011, in other words a gain of 10.1 points in one year:

  • Internet Explorer lost ground (-9.8 points) but its visit share remained higher than the European average (55.3% vs. 40.9%).

In Greece, Google Chrome maintained its 3rd place thanks to a gain of 10.8 points since December 2010:

  • In December 2011, on average 24.2% of visits were made through Google Chrome in Greece.
  • Internet Explorer lost almost 10 points over the same period to fall to 34.2% in visit share, which allowed Mozilla/Firefox (35.3%), on the decline, to hold on to its first place which it obtained during the summer.

In France, Google Chrome reached almost one out of 5 visits in December 2011 with a gain of 8.2 points in one year and reinforced its 3rd place:

  • Internet Explorer’s visit share decreased by 9.8 points and is hovering around the 40% mark,
  • Mozilla/Firefox’s visit share, with a loss of 1.7 points, remained higher than the European average: 28.9% vs. 26.9% in December 2011.

 

A short time ago, Mozilla/Firefox was Internet Explorer’s main challenger. Now, eyes are riveted on Google Chrome. Its progress made during the last year has been spectacular: with a gain of almost 8 points in one year, it now accounts for an average of 18.2% of visits on websites in Europe.

Mozilla/Firefox remained largely ahead with 26.9% of traffic, the gap with Google Chrome was reduced in one year: starting with 19 points in December 2010, falling to 9 points in December 2011. If Mozilla/Firefox doesn’t turn things around quickly (a 3 point loss in one year), its gap will be reduced in the forthcoming months as a result of the performances of Google Chrome.

Safari continued to climb with a 3.1 point increase in one year, breaking the 1 out of 10 visit mark in December 2011 in Europe.

The leader, Internet Explorer, suffers from the progress made by its competitors: it accounted for four out of 10 visits in Europe at the end of 2011, compared to five out of 10 visits at the end of 2010 and six out of 10 visits at the end of 2009.

Methodology

We are interested in the average distribution of visits, by browser, which have been recorded by a certain cross-section of websites (except mobile websites).

In order to establish the cross-section of websites to be used as part of a study, a website is only used if the selection criteria, which have been established previously, are respected. These criteria are very strict and their aim is to remove any websites which have an anecdotal audience, or a chaotic audience, or whose collected data underlines a dysfunction in the measure.

For each country, only websites whose traffic has been mainly generated within the country itself are considered. In addition to this, only visits to these websites which have been generated within the country itself are considered. We calculate average traffic distribution per website. For every website, the visit share for each browser corresponds to the total number of visits of the analysed browser compared to the overall number of visits for all browsers combined over a given period.

The European indicator is representative of the countries audited. The average visit share in Europe corresponds to the average of the indicators for the 23 countries studied. To evaluate the average, all countries are regarded as being equal in the value of their parameters.

The 23 countries included in the study were:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.