As the publisher of a software information website, I often use keyword-research tools* to determine which software-related topics are the most popular (based on Internet search activity). By knowing what people are looking for online, I can build content to help them.
You can’t help but notice trends and patterns when doing this kind of research, and I thought you might be interested in some of those trends. For example, in this article I’ve compiled five of the most popular types of software in the world, based on how often people look them up through Google, Yahoo, MSN and the other search engines.
#1 – Anti-virus Tools
For a long time, I’ve had a conspiracy theory that the companies that make anti-virus programs are in league with the people who create computer viruses in the first place. After all, few things sell anti-virus software like the constant threat of new viruses. Regardless of who’s generating the fear, they are doing a good job of it, because anti-virus software is consistently one of the most frequently searched programs.
Most people computer users are very familiar with these programs, because they come pre-installed on most PCs. There is also a dizzying array of software products that fall into this category, so I won’t try to summarize them here. That’s another article entirely.
#2 – Tax Software
Okay, so there’s a very good chance this one made the list because I conducted my research at tax time (in March). Perhaps if I conducted this study later in the year, tax software would not be quite as popular from a search engine usage standpoint. At any rate, it makes the cut today and falls in right behind the anti-virus programs based on the number of searches.
I use these programs every year at tax time. Or, to be honest, I should say my wife uses these programs while I provide moral support. At any rate, these software products are incredibly useful for people who prepare their own tax returns.
Though each program offers slightly different features, they all perform the same basic function. They walk you step by step through the process of completing your tax-return forms. You just fill in the blanks with the requested information, and the software does the rest. Popular tax software programs include TaxAct, TurboTax and TaxCut (by H&R Block).
#3 – Accounting Software
This type of computer program might be high on the list of Internet search for two reasons. For one thing, it’s very versatile and can be used by professional accountants, small business owners, and others. Secondly, there are terminology reasons for the Internet search popularity of this software. Some people use the phrase “accounting” when referring to the tax-preparation programs mentioned previously, while others use the phrase when referring to the more full-featured programs used by professional accountants.
Regardless of these semantic differences, accounting software is commonly searched through the major search engines, so it makes my list. These programs are most often used to manage the revenue and expenses of a company, including payroll and corporate tax information.
#4 – DVD Burning Tools
As the name suggests, these software programs allow you to reproduce or “burn” copies of DVDs. Of course, these tools also open a Pandora’s box of legal issues, because you cannot just make copies of a commercial DVD without violating copyright laws.
But this is not a legal lesson — it’s a list of popular software types as measured by Internet search patters. And by that yardstick DVD burning programs certainly make the list.
#5 – Video Editing Programs
These software tools allow you to edit video sequences on a computer. You don’t even need a fancy computer to use them, but just a regular old desktop unit (as long as its compatible with the software program you choose).
These products have become increasingly popular over the years, thus creating an army of amateur filmmakers. To use them, you would first create the video footage itself. Then you would use this unique and powerful software to edit the footage on any compatible desktop computer. You can import and export video to and from your computer, cut and paste sections of video, and add special effects and transitions.
* Sources: KeywordTracker and Keyword Discovery. I cross-referenced the most common software types from both tools to create this list.