Sunday, August 19, 2007

Churchill, Chicks & Ice Cream

I was researching at the Churchill Center’s website and came upon this paragraph trumpeting the growth in interest in history, and in Churchill in particular:

Consider the success of the History Channel, burgeoning sales of history books (over twenty on Churchill in 2006-08), heritage site visitations, historical reenactments, or the in infinite number of educational websites. Enter "Winston Churchill" into Google and you get 2,750,000 hits--more than Roosevelt, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or any other 20th century figure.
I have serious concerns Americans don’t know enough about history or have much interest in learning it. But I’ll leave that for another day.

That Google figure of 2,750,000 “Winston Churchill” hits the Center used caught my eye.

I Googled “Winston Churchill” at 2 PM Eastern on 8/19/07 and got 2,860,000 hits.

Given that Google hit return numbers can vary hour-by-hour, the Center’s “Winston Churchill” number was as right as can be.

But should Churchill’s Google numbers reassure us? Do they prove much in terms of a growing interest in him and history?

Here are the results of some more Googling I did at the same time.

“Dixie Chicks” returned 2,380,000 hits. “Barbra Streisand” returned 2,370,000.

They’re running Churchill a good race. I think he’s been hurt by not having a hit record in years. And, of course, he doesn’t do live concerts.

“Ice cream” yielded 35, 900,000 and “Ben and Jerry” 1,390,000.

Well, I reported and gave a few thoughts. What do you think?


Locomoive Breath said...

Well the Dixie Chicks and Barbra Streisand are still public figures and Winston Churchill is not. I wish it were the other way around.

Try google in about 40 years from now. I'll bet Churchill is still there but the other two not.

DukeEgr93 said...

You know, "John" comes up 540 million times! John in Carolina comes up 78.9 million. Impressive stats (so long as you remain quoteless :) )

Nobody said...

Google overcounts by a factor of 100x to 3000x.

Use Advanced Search and set to 100 results per page. Scroll to the bottom of the results and go to the last page of results listed. (Or click the link supplied.)

There are actually only 870 hits for “Winston Churchill”.