This tweet seemed to have struck a nerve. I'm not exactly sure why(please DM me if you know!), but I suspect its a mix of reasons.
Perhaps people like to feel that their "team" is winning. Perhaps it helps you figure out which tools to invest your limited time in. Or maybe it's a way for some of you to ascertain market size for a potential startup.
Either way, it inspired me to create a frequently-updated, short comparison of the most popular popularity nocode tools.
I'll expand a bit on that tweet and compare the popularity of a couple of nocode tools, with the following additional metrics;
- Search volume
- Google Trends comparison
- Mentions on Twitter
- Backlinks comparison
- Popular vote on Twitter
- Final Results
Let's have a look 👇
|Platform||Searches per month||Search term|
Looking at search volume for each platform name is useful because we can get a general idea how many people are looking for that nocode tool specifically. This signifies direct interest and intent on trying them out.
Search volumes were looked up with Keywords Everywhere on 12 March 2022. It was set for US-based queries on Google.
Note that the keyword for Bubble was "bubble.io" not "bubble". I did this because, searching for "bubble" would include a whole lot of irrelevant results. I'm not sure how much this would have influenced things, but for transparency's sake, there you go.
The keyword search revealed that the most frequently searched for nocode tool was the indie maker created Carrd, which is pretty great!
An obvious objection might be that it's not fair to compare more specialised tools like API automation wizard Zapier to a website builder like Carrd. But Webflow could also be seen as a more general purpose website building tool, yet both Airtable and Zapier scored higher.
This tells me that looking at search volumes could very well be a good indicator of popularity. But obviously that's just a snap shot of the current monthly searches. What does this look like over time? What will the future bring?
We need to find the trends.
The Google Trends data was for the last year, and the results seem to support the search volume results pretty well, although it does add a little bit more to the picture.
We can see that Carrd is still high up there, but that it actually started trending down just before September '21.
Airtable and Zapier both saw some growth, while Bubble and Webflow appear to be plateauing .
Bubble, still seems to be lagging behind, either because it's not as popular, or perhaps because people generally use some unknown search terms for it it that I'm not aware of.
Another rough indicator of popularity would be backlinks. For this one I used Ahrefs.
Backlinks, if you don't know, are the amount of incoming links to a site from other websites. In other words, the amount of other sites(like this one) that find a site interesting enough worth mentioning and directly linking too.
Broadly, search engines like Google use the amount of backlinks to determine how popular a particular site is on the internet.
Backlinks would thus not necessarily be an indicator of interest by consumers themselves, but how much it's talked about by media sites, bloggers and social media influencers who think it would be of interest to their audiences.
Although it's not a fool-proof indicator of popularity(backlinks are correlated with age and content marketing effort), it still paints a pretty good picture of how many sites are willing to vouch for you.
When we consider backlinks, the picture looks somewhat different.
Here Webflow and Airtable are heads above the rest. You might be confused why I put Airtable above Webflow, looking at the Backlinks column, but if you look at Referring Domains column, you'd see why.
Referring Domains means individual sites linking to a platform. More individual sites linked to Airtable than Webflow, even though there were more links per site going to Webflow. One site might have mentioned Webflow 50 times where 10 sites mentioned Airtable 5 times, if that makes sense.
Could this be because Airtable has an embeddable tool that links back home? I don't know, maybe.
I consider it more valuable for a platform to be mentioned by more unique, individual refering websites, because lots of links from a single source is an indication of bias. The same logic applies for why Zapier is listed above Card.
This might suggest that these two companies spend way more time and money trying to get third parties to link to them with either content marketing or other outreach programs.
And finally, I did an impromptu Twitter poll. It's a tiny, TINY sample size, but make of it what you will. 😆
And the winners are...
|Highest Search Volume||Biggest Growing Trend||Most Backlinks||Popular Vote Winner|
I need your help for the next update
As mentioned, this post will be updated periodically. As such, I would really appreciate it if you let me know which tools you want to be included in the next update.
Also, if you could suggest some other metrics to compare, or if you want a similar post about different tools, please let me know. I want to make sure this post stays relevant and that you would get to the best comparisons of the latest and greatest out there.
Let me know by signing up for the newsletter and replying the email, or by following and tweeting me @riknieu.
Until next time, have an awesome day!