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They usually compare the third party aggregate stats with their own site stats which are often wildly different, much less IE, way more Firefox.
Painfully obvious truths
Posted Feb 26, 2013 23:15 UTC (Tue) by Lennie (subscriber, #49641)
Most of the time you see 2 organisations quoted in news articles for statistics.
gs.statcounter.com and marketshare.hitslink.com
hitslink always has a much higher IE-share than statcounter, there are several reasons for that that I know of:
1. hitslink seems to be on more business oriented, IE is bigger in business than at home (just look at statcounter and compare the numbers for weekday and weekend).
2. IE is still bigger in China than in western countries. The country with the largest share of Windows XP is also China I believe. Probably Google isn't such a household name in China as their searchengine does not have a large share. A large part of Chrome users are Chrome users because of Google advertising and them being a household name. The reason China is significant for the statistics is because hitslink mangles their statistics based by adding a weight based on the number of people in a country. And China is a really large country.
3. statcounter measures by pageviews and hitslink counts by 'visit' (per session of pageviews). IE users are the 'dumber' users, users that don't know alternatives exist or how to install new software. My guess is these are users which visit a whole lot less pages per website. Chrome and Firefox users click much faster thus visit more pages.
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