Thanks chromatic for explaining that graph. (not to me, but to others).

Care to look at

and

These graphs are perfectly consistent with observations on TIOBE - see the respective graphs there (google trends of tutorial searches denote "future interest", while TIOBE denotes "present interest")

If Google trends fall (in absolute numbers - see below), the language popularity will fall. If they remain constant, language popularity will grow. There is a - thin - margin of fall up to which present popularity will remain at least more or less constant. C is a good example for that. If my calculations are correct a factor of 12 in Google trends decrease is the threshold for that situation.

Now to your questions: The normalized Google trends graphs show a decrease by a factor of 25. Which means that we're good if the absolute number of searches on Google has grown 25 times since February 2004. Right?

Well nothing easier than that. Enter Google annual search statistics. 1st try http://www.statisticbrain.com/google-searches/ 2007-2011 we have a growth from 1,200,000,000/day to 4,717,000,000/day. My head says that's a factor of 4, my pocket calculator says ~3.93

Surely you want now to present 2004-2013 Google annual search statistics that will suggest a factor of 25. Be my guest.

Bye
PetaMem
All Perl:   MT, NLP, NLU

• Comment on Re^4: Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests"

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Re^5: Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests"
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Mar 19, 2013 at 16:10 UTC

That seems to demonstrate PetaMem's point. "Programming" dropped to 25% of its maximum (the "factor of 4" PetaMem mentioned). Which makes "Perl tutorial"'s 20-fold fall a reflection of an approximate 5-fold relative decline in popularity.

But perhaps I misunderstood your point. That wouldn't be a big shock to me since you included zero words of explanation.

- tye

... you included zero words of explanation.

Indeed, and on purpose. Is programming more or less popular than it was in 2004? Based on that chart, you might expect that for every four people you knew programming in 2004, three of them have stopped. Maybe that's true, but it doesn't seem right to me.

If Google were the only way people found information, or if the we knew the right search queries to group together for a complete picture of what people searched for, or how many distinct people searched for tutorials, we might have a clearer picture. Alas, the world isn't what it was in 2004.

We don't even know the relative market share of various languages in 2004 versus today, nor absolute numbers, nor even the number of languages a polyglot knows to a competent extent, nor the overlap.

Please note I'm not saying that Perl has or hasn't lost marketshare in absolute or relative terms and I'm not suggesting that advocacy is or isn't needed. What I am saying is that I think we don't have an empirically measured context in which we can determine what needs to be done (if anything) or if our efforts will make a difference.