Happy Birthday Chrome, You're About To Overtake Firefox On TechCrunch

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As we pointed out earlier, today is Google Chrome’s second birthday. Since it launched in beta on September 2, 2008, it has come a long way (it’s already 6 versions deep). Back then, it was Windows-only, with official Mac and Linux support only coming late last year. But now it’s on the verge of another milestone: becoming the top browser coming to this site.

I’ve checked out our logs over the past few years to see how well Chrome has been doing compared to its rival browsers. The numbers are shockingly strong for such a new entry — particularly in the past year. Obviously, TechCrunch has a tech-centric audience, but I don’t think it’s off-base to say that you’re also a leading audience of early adopters that often point to where the general public will be in the future.

The numbers are clear: Firefox is in trouble. It has been the top browser since we began using Google Analytics to record stats back in 2007. By 2008, it was nearly 25 percentage points ahead of the next closest rival, Internet Explorer. As of yesterday, it stood just 3 percentage points ahead of the next closest rival, Chrome.

Here are the numbers. In August 2010 (the month that just ended):

  • Firefox: 33.98%
  • Chrome: 26.22%
  • Safari: 18.40%
  • IE: 13.23%
  • Mozilla Compatible Agent: 5.46%

One year ago, in August 2009 (right before Chrome’s first birthday), the numbers looked like this:

  • Firefox: 45.91%
  • IE: 20.61%
  • Safari: 18.85%
  • Chrome: 10.09%
  • Mozilla Compatible Anent: 1.83%

Two years ago, in August 2008 (right before Chrome launched), the numbers looked like this:

  • Firefox: 55.63%
  • IE: 31.21%
  • Safari 9.76%
  • Opera: 2.23%
  • Mozilla: 0.62%

By September 2008, the month Chrome launched in beta, it had an immediate impact. But remember, it was Windows-only at the time:

  • Firefox: 52.36%
  • IE: 28.55%
  • Safari: 9.18%
  • Chrome: 6.58%
  • Opera: 2.05%

And just for fun, let’s go back three full years, to August 2007.

  • Firefox: 48.81%
  • IE: 40.61%
  • Safari: 6.59%
  • Opera: 2.29%
  • Mozilla: 0.72%

Chrome has clearly taken a bite out of Firefox, IE, and even Opera’s already small share. Safari is up big over the past couple of years as well, but its growth has seemingly stalled over the past year — despite iPad browser usage (in terms of visits to TechCrunch) exploding.

Of course, overall traffic to TechCrunch is also way up over these past few years. It just appears that more and more people who are visiting are now doing so via Chrome.

Let’s look at the numbers from yesterday:

  • Firefox: 34.68%
  • Chrome: 31.09%
  • Safari: 15.65%
  • IE: 12.77%
  • Mozilla Compatible Agent: 3.48%

Yes, it’s just a matter of time before Chrome is on top.

As a humorous aside, IE with Chrome Frame, the plug-in Google made to make IE behave like Chrome, is now a bigger source of traffic to TechCrunch than Opera Mini or BlackBerry. While still tiny, it too is growing.

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