Browser/device statistics for McGill Library – September 2015 update

I was poking around some analytics reports this morning and realized that it had been a while since I updated the browser stats for the web traffic on the Library’s web site. You can see the latest numbers in the table below.

Browser Sept 2012 Sept 2013 Sept 2014 Sept 2015 Change
Internet Explorer 44% 38% 37% 32% -12%
Firefox 22% 20% 14% 21% -1%
Chrome 16% 23% 30% 27% +11%
Safari 16% 18% 18% 19% +3%

The general trend continues to be IE dropping off while Chrome gains. Firefox came back after taking a big dip in 2014, but at best to keeping even.

I thought I would add a second table to this report showing how the traffic from different device categories is evolving as well. I’m not sure if the counts are as meaningful for the earlier years, but here is what Google Analytics is reporting.

Sept 2012 Sept 2013 Sept 2014 Sept 2015 Change
Desktop 97% 95% 92% 90% -7%
Mobile 2% 4% 6% 7% +5%
Tablet 1% 2% 2% 3% +2%

Unsurprisingly, the majority of our traffic comes from desktop PCs, with mobile and tablet use slowly starting to climb. The rate of change may increase, though, now that our home page is finally responsive and does a much better job of displaying on mobile devices.

McGill Library home page viewed on a mobile device

It is important to keep in mind that many of our patrons do not go through the Library web site to access our resources! Many will use Google/Google Scholar or will have WorldCat or their favorite databases bookmarked. Still, I think these numbers can give us a general idea of the browsers and devices being used my our patrons.

Browser statistics: What a difference a year makes!

I came across a tweet this morning from a librarian who noted that 40% of their users are on Google Chrome. That number struck me as quite high, so I thought I would take a quick look at the usage statistics for the Library’s web site and see where we were at.

I also thought I’d compare it to last years numbers to get a sense of how things had shifted, if at all.

Browser Sept 2012 Sept 2013 Change
Internet Explorer 44% 38% -6%
Firefox 22% 20% -2%
Chrome 16% 23% +7%
Safari 16% 18% +2%

While we are no where near a 40% share for Chrome, Chrome has made the largest gain in our user base, to the point where it is now the second-most-used browser, usurping the long-held order of IE-Firefox-Chrome-Safari!

Again, this isn’t altogether surprising, although I would have expected Firefox to have gained a part of the share lost to IE. Still, it is interesting to note, if only to firmly establish Chrome as browser ascendant.