Google Trends for SQL Server Cloud Adoption


By:   |   Updated: 2020-08-26   |   Comments   |   Related: More > Professional Development Career


Problem

I am new to the cloud and I would like to know which of the cloud services is popular before I invest time learning about specific products. Is there a tool I can use to help in my research in knowing more about upcoming cloud trends?

Solution

Cloud technologies are a fast-changing landscape and can be quite overwhelming, especially if you don't have professional experience in any of the known products already available in the market. For someone new to the cloud, you might choose the popular products, but you also need to look at available job opportunities in your region to see the possibilities of securing a job using your cloud skills. The most difficult phase for most of us, if we don't have the experience, is to try to select the correct product to use. How do we know whether learning or certifying in say Azure or Amazon will help us improve job prospects and so on?

To help you with this, there is a free tool from Google, called Google trends, and this can help you see what things are popular to help shape your decisions and research.

What are Google trends?

Google trends helps you analyze popular search queries used in Google across various regions and languages. Another good thing is it is free to use. As the name suggests, Google trends helps us to identify "search trends" that are popular over a given period of time.

Google Trends home page

Once you click on the Google Trends link, you will see this screen.

google trends

Using Google Trends to search for trends

Assuming you want to compare the popularity of search terms related to Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Alibaba Cloud, just enter the required details in the "Enter a search term or a topic" in the search section as shown in the screenshot above.

You can also use the Compare option to compare different search trends.

google trends graph

In the compare option, enter the required fields (Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud) one by one. You will see a screen like below.

google trends graph

From the screenshot above, you can see that the "Microsoft Azure" search term is popular in United States over the last 12 months in the web search category.

Changing the search parameter

You could get a better understanding of the results by changing the values of the search parameters available below.

google trends search compare

Instead of selecting country as "United States", you could change it to your own region or change it to "Worldwide". Changing the date range from "Past 12 months" to something like "2004-present" gives a much broader range to view the output.

google trends search options

You can leave the default as "All categories" unless you want to look at data for a specific industry. Also, you can leave the default option for "Web Search". The other options that are available are as shown.

google trends search options

You could also use "YouTube Search" which would be helpful to see the trends. Let's change the date range to '2004-present' and the output will look much different.

google trends graph

From this screen, you can see that search terms for Microsoft Azure is increasing over the last 3 years, whereas the one for AWS is going down. Also, you will notice that the search terms related to Google Cloud platform is also picking up over the last 3 years.

Review the results further

If you look at the output further, you will see additional details by region as shown.

google trends graph

From the regional breakdown, you can see that the search trend for Microsoft Azure is popular in North Dakota and West Virginia as compared to other regions in United States. Likewise, you can sort the interest drop down for AWS or GCP for detailed results by sub region.

google trends graph

Related Queries

Further down the output, you will be able to view a section for "Related queries".

google trends graph

This section will show up for each of the search term inputs you provided. So, it will show this section for AWS, GCP and Alibaba as well. If you click on the symbol (?) as shown in the pointer, you will see a brief description for "Related Queries" and terms like "Rising" and "Top".

google trends related queries

If you look closer at the related queries, you will get additional clues.

google trends related queries

You can see that there is rising interest for terms like Microsoft certification and also for Azure related jobs.

Finding similar trends for popular cloud certifications

You could use the examples shown above to research further on the popular cloud certifications which may be of interest. On querying information, for the last 5 years for Azure, AWS and Google cloud certifications, an output of trends is shown below.

google trends graph

You can see quite clearly that in the United States, AWS certifications are quite popular compared to Azure or Google Cloud certifications. If you are based in any non-US region, just change it to your specific region to get the required details. Take for example, using Brazil for the same parameters is shown below.

google trends graph

Searching popularity of individual "Search Terms"

Instead of comparing the search parameters, you could also see the popularity of any individual search term or topic. As we know, migrating to the cloud has been getting popular over the last few years and most of the major companies are planning to move their legacy applications to the cloud. Let's input the term "cloud migration" to see the trend.

google trends graph

You can see that the trend is similar when we change the region to "Worldwide".

google trends graph

Selecting the popularity of cloud migration by product

As we can see the popularity for cloud migration, let's see which of the cloud vendors are popular - Azure, AWS or Google Cloud. Once you compare the terms, you will see this trend. This is for the United States.

google trends graph

From the trend, you can see that the search term "AWS migration" is popular compared to "Azure migration" or "Google Cloud Migration".

Analyzing job opportunities by cloud vendor

Coming to the most important data around jobs specific to a cloud vendor, here is the data for the search terms for "Azure jobs", "AWS jobs" and "Google Cloud jobs".

google trends graph

You can see globally, the "AWS jobs" search term is more popular compared to the other two.

Additional Research

You could also use Google Trends to identify sudden interests in any specific technology or news item. Take for example, the search term related to "SQL Server on Linux". This was a popular announcement at the time. Below is the result for the last 5 years of data.

google trends graph

If you look closely, the spike in interest is around the period from March 6 to March 12, 2016. If you check further, you will see that the spike is related to the announcement made by Microsoft on March 7, 2016 confirming the release of SQL Server on Linux.

sql server on linux
Next Steps
  • In this tip, you saw how you could use Google Trends to analyze search data
  • You could refer this tip to research further on SQL related topics that may be of interest to you
  • You could refer this tip to analyze job prospects in the cloud market
  • You could refer this tip to understand the popular trends especially in cloud migration
  • You could refer this tip to research further SQL or cloud-based certifications that may be of interest to you
  • More AWS tips
  • More Microsoft Azure tips


Last Updated: 2020-08-26


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About the author
MSSQLTips author Mohammed Moinudheen Mohammed Moinudheen is a SQL Server DBA with over 6 years experience managing production databases for a few Fortune 500 companies.

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