As you many know, there are quite a few web browsers currently available, but one of the newest and most up and coming web browsers has seemed to somewhat take over. Google Chrome has become the second most popular browser in the UK (Internet Explorer is still up there in first place) and this could be due to a multitude of factors.
Browsers tend to come and go, but here is a list of those who seem to be staying put throughout this year: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari. All of these browsers have been around for a few years and have been upgraded quite a few times by their developers.
Let’s take a look at Google Chrome. Chrome was first released September 2008, developed and released by Google Inc. Now in comparison to other browsers, Chrome is, metaphorically speaking, just a child. Children however, tend to have a lot of energy, and also tend to be more on trend than their elders. This reflects on Google’s creation perfectly. Chrome has the quickest page load speeds and in version 13, instant page loads are possible. A page that loads instantly is, in my opinion, astonishing, it really just goes to show how far technology has come along, remember when pages loaded from top to bottom at a snail’s pace? One row at a time, well Chrome is showing that in can load these pages instantly, in comparison there has been a lot of progress ma
de. In relation to it being trendy, Chrome has a very sleek interface and an expanding amount of themes, all easily changeable by the user depending on personal preference.
November 2004 was when Firefox first hit the scene, possibly the best time for any browser to join, as there were only a few real competitors in that time. Some of its features include tabbed browsing, spell checking, incremental find, live bookmarking, a download manager, private browsing, location-aware browsing. However a lot of these features are quite typical in browsers now. The only thing, I think, that makes Firefox stand out is its tools. Seen as Firefox has been around for quite a while, it’s had more time to develop tools and so on, so it is understandable why it has so many. A massive SEO tool would be SEOBook, this is an example of a tool that is exclusive to Firefox, this is one contributing factor that could lead to users.
Explorer debuted August, 1995. IE is the oldest web browser still running today. It is a typical web browser and has the same amount of features as any other. However Microsoft does own this browser and naturally it is set as any PC’s default browser. Additionally, Internet Explorer has a very simplistic feel. I don’t mean this in a negative way – it just seems as if what isn’t necessary isn’t there.
The Opera browser is also one of the oldest browsers (not as old as IE though!), released in December, 1996. Again like most web browsers it has the tabbed browsing, and other popular features, like private browsing, a bookmarking bar and so on. However something unique about Opera is its speed dial feature. For those who are not familiar with this tool, users have the ability to add up to around 25 links, this makes access to your favourite and most used sites easier than some other browsers, and this speed dial feature opens every time the browser or a new tab is opened up. Chrome has a similar feature however it gives off a completely different feel and experience, due to the layout and general processes that are used.
Apple runs the Safari browser, and to no surprise it follows the same layout and schemes as their other software. This platform is very similar to Internet Explorer, the only real variance between them being the obvious differences between a mac and a PC – just a few minor tweaks here and there and also, of course, visual differences.
The SEO point of view
Being a part of SEO Positive obviously makes it easy to gauge an SEO opinion on browsers. I’ve found that all of my colleagues are using Firefox. In all fairness, Firefox is not particularly slow, and it does have tools that are essential to the work of SEO consultants. SEOBook is the main tool that my colleagues use, the reason for this is that it shows the vital statistics of each site visited, ie page ranking, different types of page links to the site and the page you are on, as well as other handy elements such as Alexa ranking. All of these things are vital for those who use SEO.
The Social Media Marketing point of view
I personally deal with Social Media Marketing quite intensely. Aspects of SEO and other variants of SEM do come in to my field from time to time, but my main focus would be on Social Media integration. Now the time that a webpage takes to load is very important for me; I use the internet about 75% of the time I work which is why I need a fast browser. If a page is loading slowly, then it cuts into my productivity. Also I use multiple sites for bookmarking, networking and blogging. So a toolbar that clearly displays each website is vital and will help me navigate through the sites that I am active on. For these reasons I have chosen to use Chrome. It matches what I require and I have never experienced a problem.
The public’s opinion
I know that there are a lot of polls and so on regarding this topic. I have conducted my own using Twitter, Warrior Forum and Linkedin. What I have found is that the majority are using Chrome and the rest are on Firefox. Chrome is being used mainly for things like the speed of the browser and its instant Google Search option, along with the bookmarks toolbar and the general appeal of the layout. Firefox users tend to be drawn in by the multitude of tools, the rest of the features are quite typical but this factor will sway them. Also I have found a lot of people don’t like to use Google due to their algorithms, it seems people have developed paranoia about Google “watching” them. I disagree with this; it is fair to say algorithms are used to show targeted ads for the user. However it is a program that pretty much picks up keywords, it is not a case of an actual person sitting and reading your mail or reviewing your history. Google doesn’t scare me in that sense.
Statcounter’s statistics, show that Internet explorer is the most used browser, worldwide, followed by Firefox then Chrome, then Safari and lastly Opera. However the only browser that is receiving an increase in users is Chrome. Firefox and Internet Explorer are decreasing significantly, whereas Opera and Safari have had the same amount of users for at least 3 years.
It seems that, for now, Internet Explorer and Firefox remain at the top of the tree. However, in the foreseeable future, I imagine users of all current browsers converting to Chrome. Meaning that the amount of people using Chrome will increase, and as a result of this all competing browsers will suffer a decrease.