Metrics SNAFU shows Chrome's market share dropping

Interest in Google’s Chrome browser seems to be falling, according to the latest figures from web metrics firm Net Applications.

The figures show that Chrome fell for the second straight month as the metrics firm admitted that it had been over-counting that browser’s share for months.

Microsoft’s Internet Exploder, which had posted its largest-ever share increase in January, declined slightly in February.

Redfaced Net Applications admitted that it had given Chrome a larger share than the browser deserved because the pre-rendering technology used by the browser creates unviewed visits that should not be counted.

Since February, Net Applications has adjusted Chrome’s share by ignoring unused pre-loaded pages and counting only those the user actually sees.

This slashed Chrome’s figures by 4.3 per cent.

Chrome’s share fell about one half of a percentage point to end February with 18.9 per cent, off its peak of 19.1 per cent last December. The browser remained in the No. 3 slot, behind both IE and Mozilla’s Firefox.

Last month Net Applications put a decline in Chrome’s use down to the fact that Google demoted the page rank for Chrome’s download site, after it confirmed a marketing campaign had violated the company’s own rules against paid links.