2013q4quarterly

If RF had his way, there’d probably be a giant banner across the top of the website proclaiming our awesomeness with one of those cheesy “visitor counter” widgets. But I made a deal a few years back: keep the cheerleading to a minimum and I’ll do a full stats breakdown every quarter and post it for all the world to see. Well, another quarter just ended and that means it’s once again time to draw back the curtain and give you, our readers, an eye-full of the site’s latest stats. And if I could use three words to describe how we’re doing, they’d be “better than ever.”

The first quarter of this year spiked our stats so hard that it took nearly six months to get back to the normal trajectory. There’s a standard and predictable growth pattern that we’ve seen in terms of readership, and anything beyond that tends to freak me out just a little bit. But ever since about the end of the second quarter, we’ve returned to our normal “up and to the right” pattern that we’ve enjoyed for years.

2013q4pageviews

Month over month, we seem to be experiencing an extended spike in traffic. We’d heard form other bloggers and our previous ad partners that they usually see a slump during the holidays, but for us it’s been the exact opposite. I figure it’s because people prefer to spend their time with us than their families, but that might just be me. The interesting thing is that even though we switched to a less frequent posting schedule for the holidays, it doesn’t seem to have impacted our traffic. That’s mainly due to a couple articles which really knocked it out of the park view-wise, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

2013q4uniquevisitors

The metric known as “unique visitors” isn’t exactly the most scientific count of the number of people who read our site, but it’s an internet standard measure and its ‘s close as we get. And that number for this quarter is over one point five million. Per month. That’s almost three times the readership of Guns & Ammo. In fact, that’s more readers than the NRA’s American Rifleman (1.39 Million according to WA). That means one could make the claim that TTAG is the most widely read firearms publication in the world. Which is kinda cool.

My favorite metric, though, is the average time on site. In the fourth quarter TTAG’s average time on site was 5:28. That’s five and a half minutes each person spent here, which means they actually read the articles. Sure some people skim the articles and only look at the pictures, but most people actually read our reviews and opinions. That’s pretty cool to me.

And then there’s the derived metric we can extrapolate from that figure: lost productivity. It’s pretty simple: if we know how much time people spend on the site and how many of them were here, we can use the average hourly wage (for November 2013, since December’s isn’t available yet) to figure out how much money we cost the economy in lost productivity when all of you could have been working. The tally: for Q4 of 2013, that figure is $958,466,623.47. In other words, this one website cost the world economy almost $1 BILLION DOLLARS in lost productivity. And that’s only this quarter. How cool is that?

So is all this traffic because gun sites are doing well, or are because we’re just the best? Well, here are a few selected competing websites and their global rankings, as reported by Alexa.com:

Website Alexa Rank (US)
The Truth About Guns 4,503
Bearing Arms 8,969
The Survivalist Blog 9,516
Gunbot 9,616
The Firearm Blog 14,407
Ammoland 18,391
EDNDO 26,986
The Gun Wire 53,403
Gun Nuts Media 62,693
Sipsey Street Irregulars 85,389
SaysUncle 95,408
Moms Demand Action 136,516
JTT 188,500
NRA Blog 223,212
Mayors Against Illegal Guns 1,901,351
Walls of the City 3,465,046

That might seem pretty low, but keep in mind that this is a ranking against all other websites in the world. Like Google. Or those sites that require a credit card to enter. So, I’d say that we’re still the most popular firearms blog in the world — and gaining. Bearing Arms came out of nowhere in the last few months, driving traffic to their site by using the “2nd Amendment” Facebook page to promote their posts to over a million followers. And seriously, who doesn’t like the Second Amendment? It’s social (network) engineering at its finest, and for that I tip my hat.

For us, our popularity is due to the ever-popular posts we have in our back catalog and their easy availability via Google. So it comes as no surprise that our most-read articles aren’t necessarily from this quarter. Here’s the top 25:

  1. And So It Begins: New York Sending Out Gun Confiscation Notices
  2. Guns & Ammo Supports Gun Control
  3. Gun Review: Ruger LC9
  4. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport
  5. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield
  6. BREAKING: GLOCK 42 Revealed?
  7. Gun Review: Mosin-Nagant
  8. BREAKING: Kevin Brittingham Wins Lawsuit Against Freedom Group
  9. Gun Review: Glock 19 Gen4 9X19mm
  10. Gun Review: Hi-Point C9 9mm Pistol
  11. Mark Kelly Commits a Felony at New York Gun Show
  12. Gun Review: Beretta Nano
  13. Gun Review: Ruger American Rifle
  14. Gun Review: FN Five-SeveN
  15. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson BODYGUARD 38 and BODYGUARD 380
  16. Gun Review: SIG SAUER P226
  17. Gun Review: Century Arms Zastava N-PAP AK-47
  18. Gun Review: Taurus 738 TCP
  19. UPDATE: Arapahoe HS Armed School Resource Officer Confronted Shooter
  20. Ammunition Review: .300 AAC Blackout
  21. Gun Review: Remington 700 ADL Varmint
  22. Gun Review: Kel-Tec PMR-30
  23. Gun Review: Ruger SR22
  24. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson SD9 VE
  25. Gun Review: Mossberg 100 ATR

Gun reviews are the theme, as usual, but there are some more timely articles sneaking their way in there. The story about gun confiscation notices in New York City absolutely exploded, and probably is the reason why our monthly numbers are running a little higher than expected.

So, that about wraps up our quarterly stats. I’ll run a post in the coming days detailing our top posts for the year, but overall things are looking pretty peachy. Nevertheless, we won’t rest on our laurels — we’re committed to continuing to bring you the best and most comprehensive coverage of the world of firearms, and that’s exactly what we’ll do. As long as the ammo lasts, that is.

37 Responses to The Truth About TTAG: 2013 Q4

  1. Congrats! Always good to see those numbers for this site. Means you guys aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

  2. I’ve been hooked on TTAG since twenty eleven. The subject matter here is always outstanding. It’s no surprise to me that TTAG’s numbers are going up.

  3. Wow.
    Congrats guys.
    I’ve looked at other sites, some listed above. I guess it’s something about the writing style you have plus the format, plus readers comments.
    May the new year bring even more.

  4. Nice job. I don’t always agree, but you guys do a very professional job. Keep it up. And the reviews are just about perfect.

  5. Nice work Nick. This kind of open and fact based analysis is sadly too uncommon in the MSM and much of social media and to some extent also in the gun biz. So thats why I keep coming back to TTAG.

    That and the unique take on the culture and the ever evolving commentary from the POTG.

    I suspect some of that traffic is coming from both the competition snd the opposition.

    • A prediction: There will be more pushback on TTAG from the State Run Media™.

      And likely more trollery and sock puppetry in comments.

      Just remember: Heavy flak means you are over the target.

  6. Fantastic writing and always-lively commentary. It’s no surprise that you guys are kicking ass. I find the population far more level headed over here than on most other gun sites, too. Less gung-ho chest thumping and more reasonable conversation. Who’d a thunk?

  7. This has been a fun journey. I would like to see us around 2K on the scale by the end of next year.

  8. well done, and Happy New Year.

    Mothers and Mayors Against Guns did not make the list. Yay. Speaking of which, there are more TTAG readers than “members” of MMAG. cool.

    “Lost productivity”? nah, Next to the gun reviews and the ammo reviews, most helpful tip of 2013 IMO was http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/03/robert-farago/gunbot-near-realtime-tracking-of-in-stock-ammo/

    An independent expert opinion on guns and ammo before I drop a lot of dimes is always worth 5:28 minutes of time because it saves even more than 5:28 later.

  9. Why do I get the feeling that including wallsofthecity may or may not be a slight case of rubbing it in towards a certain other blogger? :p

  10. You guys kept me from going mad in the post Sandy-Hook New York Journal News gun-owner map/SAFE Act debacle. I’ve been a faithful reader ever since.

    • And TTAG gave me the facts with which to counter the ignorant anti-gun arguments unfortunately polluting my other favorite website immediately following Sandy Hook, and very nearly got me banned there. Liberals DO NOT like to be contradicted, and the REALLY do not like to be shown as the fools they actually are.

      Now this is the only site I visit EVERY DAY, without fail.

  11. 19 of the top 25 are gun/gear reviews, and no MDA or MAIG stories there at all. Hint, hint…

    Though my carping may not give that impression, I do think you guys are really doing an amazing job. Keep it up (but stay focused: more guns, less astroturf anti-gun groups)!

    • Perhaps Moms Deserve Anti-Gun Mayors should be relegated to Matt in FL’s daily round-up section? As a footnote.

  12. Great work.
    Now if we can just get those pesky auto play ads to not auto play, or occasionally freak out my computer causing the Windows Internet Explorer to crash. Seems to come in spurts, nothing for weeks then several times in one or two days.

    • Excellent observation. I thought maybe it was just my old, slow computer, but as soon as one of those damn ads triggers it affects my ability to post a comment because keyboard response time goes to hell and the lag in computer response results in constant editing of errors caused by the ad script hogging computer resources. Please make that damn thing go away or at least stop auto-playing.

  13. Congratulations … keep up the great work guys.

    Just keep these stats in mind when you get hit with whiners, trolls and constant-crybaby-complainers. They are few and far between.

    There are a TON more people reading the posts choosing not to comment, ever, than there are a couple dozen of us who regularly comment.

    Happy New Year

  14. As an aging and somewhat out of touch old fart, I guess I’m just behind the times linguistically. I thought metric referred to millimeters and centimeters as in the metric system. These days, it seems to be the new “in” word to describe something else entirely. its like when so many people started using “replicate” instead of “duplicate”. But I blamed that one on the Star Trek “replicator”.

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