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Google Uses Biggest Asset to Boost Chrome Market Share

Gordon Kelly


Google Uses Biggest Asset to Boost Chrome Market Share

Opera 10.5 Alpha may have just become the first web browser to perform faster than Chrome, but it now looks like Google is ready to bring out its biggest weapon of all as it wages war on rivals.

The Web giant is placing ads on its Google search homepages around the world (including .com) promoting Chrome under the tagline: “A faster way to browse the web”. It also includes a direct link to download the browser.

Why is this so significant? Firstly it is a major break in protocol for Google since it has famously kept its search homepage(s) as minimalistic as possible. Secondly, Google.com is the most visited page on the Internet meaning Chrome is now actively being pushed to an unparalleled audience.

The really ingenious part? Google indentifies the browser visiting the page before deciding whether to show the ad or not and it isn’t as simple as Chrome = no ad, everything else = ad. The first part of this sentence is true, Chrome users don’t get an ad while Internet Explorer users do. By contrast Firefox users only get more subtle link to a ‘Google Pack’ of which Chrome is a part of software bundle. This is most likely because Firefox is a major Google business partner. Opera? Safari? I don’t know, I don’t use them so let us know.

Should you be happy in your browser choice (with IE? Really?) then the Chrome ad can be closed and won’t reappear in future. Either way, however, Google ultimately wins since Chrome brand awareness increases and this will undoubtedly help recognition of the similarly named Chrome OS when it eventually rolls out later next year.

So where is Chrome market share at present? It is just inched past Safari at 4.4 per cent and has been available on the PC for just over a year. This puts it roughly inline with the annual gains made by Firefox, which is at 24.7 per cent after five years. IE still leads the way with 63.6 per cent, though the finalised Windows browser ballot screen could change all that.

If you are considering switching to Chrome then jump on in, the water’s warm – I just migrated myself. One big tip though: go for the beta version (4.x) , it’s solid as a rock, eliminates the Facebook glitches in the ‘stable’ 3.x edition, is faster and – vitally – supports third party extensions.


via Business News Insider

Google Chrome Beta


December 28, 2009, 7:05 am

I have to say I'm happy about this, like you I've switched to Chrome now from Firefox, extensions did it for me, I'll be watching with a big fat smile on my face as IEs' market share gets chipped away by Chrome. :D


December 28, 2009, 7:27 am

I just migrated to chrome from firefox, and it is lightening fast and has good extensions.


December 28, 2009, 10:55 am

Erm, it has been doing this for months!


December 28, 2009, 2:04 pm

I have switched to Chrome from Firefox a few months ago and never regretted it. Chrome IS faster. I also like that you search via the URL bar an not have several input fields.

Christian 3

December 28, 2009, 2:36 pm

safari has same as firefox so it looks like the main assault is on IE, which seems strange as those using other browsers to IE have shown themselves open to change surely?

Chris Beach

December 28, 2009, 2:46 pm

"then the Chrome ad can be closed and won&#8217t reappear in future" that is one of the things that makes Google what it is today. Everyone else would have the ad appear constantly in your face 24/7. Hell most of them would show the ad even if you had chrome.

Its these little things that make people respect a company.

I've been using Chrome since release, and apart from a brief period when the dev build was collapsing all the tabs, its been rock solid.

Trouble is we've now got FF and Opera copying the look...FF doesn't need to bother, and Opera still wont get any market share:) besides its not the look that's the best thing about using chrome, its the speed and usability.


December 28, 2009, 3:15 pm

Seconded - it's a good example of someone on one news feed writing a story that hasnt been picked up on for months - and the rest of the web and "news" sites picking up on the non story without research and running with it ....

Well you know what they say about free - it's worth exactly what you pay for it ;)


December 28, 2009, 4:12 pm

Google have been doing this for ages.

It's the other advertising they've really started to ramp up now. I've seen Chrome billboards all over London and bus stop posters. They even took over the Metro's cover. They really are pushing the brand out there.


December 28, 2009, 4:59 pm

That's been there for ages.


December 28, 2009, 5:13 pm

google have had the ad for chrome in IE for, what must be, almost a year now along with the google toolbar ad which has been there forever, also with the google pack under the search bar they have always advertised under there, gmail, earth, picasa, ect.

I read this on cnet yesterday and wanted to reach throuch the computer screen to him to tell him to do his research,

we're just going to start 2010 and we're getting news from 2008 :P


December 28, 2009, 5:28 pm

@Mediantes: Searching via the address bar has been available in most browsers for ages, IE has had it since at least IE6.


December 28, 2009, 8:37 pm

@Mediantes - Searching works in IE8, but it does not exist comprehensively in IE7. For instance, typing something like Cambridge into IE will direct you to the University site. Other terms will lead you to an error page.


December 29, 2009, 12:38 am


I'm guessing the TR lot aren't forced to use IE at work. Otherwise you'd have known this ages ago!


December 29, 2009, 3:21 am

yea they are really spamming Chrome on all the billboards around london


December 29, 2009, 6:07 am

@Jay - never seen it before, but happy to be corrected. Either way, if we tech sites have missed it en masse then it certainly needed comment.


December 29, 2009, 6:09 am

@ravmania - thankfully not. All of which is makes for quite an interesting secondary theme: if all tech press didn't notice this for so long (while mainstream users did) the proportion which use FF and/or Chrome must be overwhelmingly large.


December 29, 2009, 3:18 pm

Why don't you Chrome users switch to Iron? It's still Chrome but without all the usage data collection going on


December 29, 2009, 8:44 pm

@Gordon - re "All of which is makes for quite an interesting secondary theme: if all tech press didn't notice this for so long (while mainstream users did) the proportion which use FF and/or Chrome must be overwhelmingly large.".

This isn't logical - your readership are not what I would consider to be typical mainstream users, but primarily techies/gadget fans etc. who are more likely to be early adopters of new technologies and / or non-mainstream alternatives. As a consequence it would seem likely to me (without conducting any real research) that a higher proportion of them use FF or Chrome (or Opera) than the majority of internet users.


December 29, 2009, 9:33 pm

@Kaurisol - it makes perfect sense. The tech press are even more techy than our readers so we have an even lower proportion of IE users and are therefore even less likely to have spotted the Google notices.

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