Google Zeitgeist Browser Stats Now Recognise 'Netscape 5.x'

Thursday February 20th, 2003

FriedEgg writes: "'Netscape 5.x' (Mozilla based browsers) are now listed separately in the Google Zeitgeist, and no longer grouped into 'Other'."

Targeted at members of the press and the curious, Google Zeitgeist offers regular statistics on the trends, patterns and surprises found by analysing Google search data. Following on from a discussion in our forums, MozillaZine reader jgraham has been in touch with Google, who say that 'Netscape 5.x' represents "all versions of Netscape 5.0 and newer and anything that uses Gecko."

Update! Zak adds: "'s latest stats (released at beginning of Feb) show that for the first time, Mozilla has a higher share than NS4 (compare with the previous month's stats)."

#6 Analysis

by jvm

Thursday February 20th, 2003 3:39 PM

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When the Jan 2003 Zeitgeist was posted, I did some analysis of it, and I had two conclusions that might interest folks.

1) Netscape 5 is counted twice on the Jan 2003 graph for all data points prior to the Jan 2003 data point. This can be verified by going back and analyzing the graphs from previous Zeitgeists. In addition to the data on the Jan 2003 graph being out of sync with previous Zeigeist graphs in this regard, the drop in the "Other" category from Dec 2002 to Jan 2003 is almost entirely accounted for by the percentage that Netscape 5 represents in the Jan 2003 data. (The only caveat here is if they were not including Netscape 5 in the "Other" category prior to Jan 2003 and they were not representing it on the graph (i.e. the percentages would not add up to 100% of the hits on Google). In that case, all previous data is suspect since Netscape 5 would not have been included.)

2) Taking the above adjustment into account (or analyzing the Dec 2003 Zeigeist by itself) the share of Google hits by IE (all versions) dropped for the first time since May 2002. The drop is about 4%, from 89% in Nov 2002 to 85% in Dec 2002. This does not necessarily mean that users switched to another browser; it could be that Google was getting hit by some web services that are not actualy human browsers. Without knowing what the jump in "Other" in Dec 2002 is specifically, we cannot explain it easily.