Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Thu 21st Aug 2008 23:44 UTC
Linux "Where is Linux the most popular, and where are the different Linux distributions the most popular?". Pingdom has taken a stab at answering this question using the Google Insights for Search. Read on for our observations on the results.
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Not very trustworthy results
by irbis on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 21:29 UTC
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If a high proportion of the searches in a country are for the term Linux, this should also indicate that Linux is popular in that country, or at least that there is a high interest in Linux.

These kind of purely quantitative studies are not very informative if you don't also remember to take into consideration the qualitative aspect of the field studied.

Why do people use Linux as a search word in Google? Because they are active Linux users? Not necessarily. People using the query word Linux might be looking for some very basic introduction to the OS etc. because they don't yet know much about the subject. Active Linux users, on the other hand, would probably use more exact Google query words as Linux could be all too broad a term for them to be useful. If someone wants exact information on how to, say, configure a certain thing in Linux, he is much more likely to use the exact distro name (instead of Linux) he is using in order to find more useful and exact information.

The other results where the regional popularity of various Linux distros is compared according to Google Insights for Search could be more informative. But again, one has to keep in mind that curiosity about a certain subject does not yet mean active use, only interest, and that interest could be based on various things like recent news (both negative and positive).

If Adolf Hitler, SCO or Al Qaeda have been used a lot as Google query words, it doesn't yet mean that they would also be loved and popular among people who searched that information using Google.

Edited 2008-08-23 21:30 UTC

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