The Civil War Connections Blog

Ironclad Search Engines

With the 150 Anniversary of the Battle of Hampton Roads wrapped up I thought it would be fun to once again battle the two famous ironclads.  Luckily this battle will be less violent, less dangerous, and ultimately has no impact on the course of naval history. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! The idea came from the website where two keywords are entered but only one can rise to victory by claiming the higher amount of hits on Google!


In the first round we have “USS Monitor vs CSS Virginia” and the results are:


USS Monitor– About 635,000 results

CSS Virginia– About 47,600,000 results


The Virginia blows the Monitor out the water with almost 47 million more hits! After consulting the judges it appears the large number of hits maybe due to the fact the CSS Virginia had a ship named after it (CSS Virginia II), and also that Virginia is the name of a state so that probably increases the number of hits.


Round 2 we see “Monitor vs Merrimack” and the results are:


Monitor– About 1,170,000,000 results

Merrimack– About 14,400,000 results


The Monitor comes through with a lopsided victory, annihilating the Merrimack by about 1.156 Billion hits!  It appears as though the Monitor may have used a performance enhancing substance in the way of appearing to the search engine as both the famous ironclad and the screen of a computer.


Time for the Main Event!! The third and final round is “ ‘USS Monitor’ vs ‘CSS Virginia’ “ (by putting the searches in quotes it limits results to the exact phrase in the quote):


“USS Monitor”- About 294,000 results

“CSS Virginia”- About 548,000 results


This is considered the Main Event because it is probably the most accurate representation of how many results there are for each ironclad.  I have to say I am certainly surprised by the results; I expected the Monitor to fetch more results than on all of these searches.  I guess you could say the South has risen again to claim this battle.