Google Search Trends

Mar-25th-2009

OK, Google Trends is a very interesting and useful tool. I used it to compare the popularity of the various Linux distributions, how the browser wars match up, and the interest in Linux netbooks.

Check out charts here…

First of all… Overall searches for “Fedora”, “Ubuntu”, “OpenSuse” and “PcLinuxOS”

How do they fare?

How do they fare?

OK, so here we see the runaway leaders is Ubuntu. We can see when they’re six monthly cycles are released, with Fedora and OpenSuse a distant 2nd and 3rd

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Next, we compare the latest iterations of OpenSuse, Fedora and Ubuntu…

Latest releases - the showdown

Latest releases - the showdown

So here we see that in the final quater last year, all three big players released their latest iteration. You can clearly see a strong correlation between news articles and the release of each distro (obviously!). Ubuntu outstretches the other two, but Fedora is a clear 2nd, with OpenSuse, taking third prize. Some people like the colour bronze though. It’s my 6th favourite colour.
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OK, so we have seen that Ubuntu is the leader when it comes to Google searches.
Now lets look with both eyes at the rise of Ubuntu…
Polish is the game, Ubuntu's the name...

Polish is the game, Ubuntu's the name...

The pattern of the searches before, during and after is eerily identical. The rise to fame has increased at a fast rate, with Intrepid (8.10) being the most popular so far. Where will Jaunty sit?
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What about the progress of Fedora?
Completely free, in every sense...

Completely free, in every sense...

Those Windows converts over in the Ubuntu camp have stumped growth, with Fedora 8 perhaps being the most hit distro. The release of Fedora 11 will be interesting…

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So now lets compare the last two releases from the guys who make Linux (Fedora), and the girls folk who polish it (Ubuntu)…
tug.. of.. war!!

tug.. of.. war!!

So Ubuntu and Fedora have pretty similar release cycles, giving us a pretty good understanding of distro usage. Bearing in mind Ubuntu is for new adopters (some would say!), they’d probably have more questions for Mr Google ;-)
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So what can we find out about the next Ubuntu V’s Fedora battle? On one side we have Fedora 11, and on the other Ubuntu 9.04..
Into the looking glass
So Ubuntu 9.04 is coming out a month earlier than Fedora 11, so don’t read too much into this, Fedora’s day is yet to come. There’s a lot of interest in the up and comin Ubuntu release though !
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How about distro’s of the future?  Currently not in the big 3, or even close, but there’s a lot of good things being said about Linux Mint. Interest has grown from mid 2006, and rising! And everyone like an underdog…
David, Goliath's younger cousin...

David, Goliath's younger cousin...

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What about netbooks? Is [insert any number between 1995 and 2009] the year of the Linux desktop? Maybe the best chance of this is Linux netbooks? Cheap, portable, light and cheap. Here’s difference between the search for “Linux netbook” and “windows netbook”.
An interesting chart...

An interesting chart...

So there are more people wanting to know about Linux than Windows? That’s a pretty wild statement to make on this chart. But I’ll make it anyway. Linux is more popular than Windows.
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Now for the browser wars…. Here’s the search queries on each of the four main browsers (let’s not talk about IE)…
Fight !!!

Fight !!!

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Finally, let’s have a look at the return on the search “Windows Sucks“….
Consistantly bad opinion?

Consistantly bad opinion?

So it seems that Windows has sucked ever since about July 2004. I would prefer to push it back to Windows 98, but I’m happy with this result. It seems that Windows has always been this bad.
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If you found any of this useful or interesting…
Go to Google Trends: http://www.google.com/trends

Comments

  1. Acitta Said,

    The overall search line for Mandriva looks very similar to that of Ubuntu.

  2. Statistics Said,

    Maybe quick comparison studies can be potentially misleading…

    “That’s a pretty wild statement to make on this chart. But I’ll make it anyway. Linux is more popular than Windows.”

    In this case, the ‘wild statement’ assumes that everybody searching for a Windows netbook entered ‘Windows Netbook’ as a search term. I would think that the vast majority of people looking for a netbook probably just searched for ‘Netbook’, and just assumed that it would be running Windows.

  3. Jacinta Said,

    “So now lets compare the last two releases from the guys who make Linux (Fedora), and the girls who polish it (Ubuntu)…”

    Seriously? There are lot of serious and dedicated men working on Ubuntu, and you’ve just called them all “girls” - which is a pretty serious insult in some places. There are a number of awesome, serious and dedicated *women* working on Ubuntu and they’re not “girls” either.

    And what about all the women working on Fedora?

    Why couldn’t you have made that comment less sexist? “So now lets compare the last two releases from those who make Linux (Fedora), and the folk who polish it (Ubuntu)…”

  4. admin Said,

    @Statistics - It was a tongue in cheek comment, with a pinch of sarcasm thrown in. I would tend to agree that the searches would be “netbook” and “netbook linux”. It’s a non-scientific poke at our Windows counterparts.

    @Jacinta - Again, this was a light hearted, tongue in cheek banterous comment. The sarcasm has obviously been lost here. I was making the point that, if you compare the amount of code that Red Hat/Fedora contribute to the Linux kernel, gnome, pulseaudio, and other open source software projects to the contributions made by the Ubuntu teams, you’ll find that Ubuntu contribute much less. It’s quite a common feeling towards Ubuntu to be honest. Novell/Red Hat make it, Canonical polish it to make it shine. For your convenience, I have edited the comment. :-)

  5. cornel panceac Said,

    “Ghost Dog”: Among the maxims on Lord Naoshige’s wall, there was this one: “Matters of great concern should be treated lightly.” Master Ittei commented, “Matters of small concern should be treated seriously.”

    maybe, sometimes, we took things too seriously :)

  6. lalala Said,

    The word “ubuntu” existed before the overrated distro did. Any comparison using Google Trends is invalid.

  7. aeshna23 Said,

    The major problem with Fedora 10 and why I wouldn’t recommend to anyone is that audio sucks, really, really sucks. When it does work, it sputters for me and apparently for many other users. Admittedly, it does seems to be much better in Fedora 11, which is still in alpha. What I don’t understand is why Fedora would even think to call Fedora 10 with such bad audio anything besides an alpha?

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