The Truth About TTAG: Q3 2015

2015q3quarter

Another quarter has gone by and so here we are again doing a little bit of navel gazing as we prepare to close out another year at TTAG. If you’ve been here a while, you know that every quarter we publish our vital statistics for all to see. There are two reasons behind this. First, that we truly believe in openness and transparency, and when we say we’re the biggest and the best gun blog on the internet we like to provide some data to back up that claim. Second, I promised RF I’d do these data dumps every quarter so he would shut up about posting every stats-related milestone we reach. It’s mostly worked so far, so let’s take a peek under the hood . . .

TTAG generates its revenue from pageviews. The more times y’all click on an article the more our ad guys pay us, so up is always good. Like I said last time it looks like TTAG’s growth has leveled off, moving from the meteoric growth we saw a couple of years ago to something much more sustainable. The quarterly chart at the top shows a small increase in traffic for Q3, but when you add a little resolution to the graph you can definitely see a much flatter trend developing.

2015q3month

This isn’t great, but it isn’t the end of the world either. We’re running right in the 6 to 7 million pageviews per month range (which is a ton of traffic) and traffic seems to be very stable at that level. Naturally we’d love to see it continue to rise at the earlier exponential rate, but this stability at least proves that we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. There have been more than a few “flash in the pan” websites over the last couple years, and the ability to maintain a dedicated, stable readership and pageview rate is key to keeping us around for the long term.

2015q3visit

Speaking of our readership, it looks like we are holding steady at just under two million unique readers per month. That pegs us at approximately four times the readership of Guns & Ammo and well above the readership of American Rifleman. In other words, even when a subscription comes free as part of your NRA membership, we still beat the pants off every print publication in the gun world.

Compared against other online publications we’re doing even better. Here’s the tally from Alexa.com, an impartial site that ranks sites according by their traffic. As in golf, a lower number is better here:

Website Alexa Ranking (US)
The Truth About Guns 3,254
The Firearm Blog 4,759
Guns.com 5,600
Bearing Arms 5,647
Guns & Ammo 9,616
Concealed Nation 9,997
Ammoland 11,076
American Rifleman 13,044
USACarry.com 14,360
The Survivalist Blog 18,042
Gunbot 21,611
Shooting Tracker 26,991
The Trace 31,371
ENDO 34,982
SaysUncle 46,377
NRA Blog 55,258
JTT 69,548
Sipsey Street Irregulars 69,979
Gun Nuts Media 83,160
Moms Demand Action 89.349
Michael Bane Blog 117,207
Sportsman Channel 125,976
ExUrbanLeague 188,406
Monderno 282,835
The Gun Wire 384,529
Walls of the City 445,572
Sheriff Jim Wilson 721,303
Mayors Against Illegal Guns Too Small To Measure

(Stats as of 10/8/2015)

I’m an analyst at heart, so I just want to mention a couple interesting aspects of these numbers as compared to last quarter. Keep in mind that these numbers were pulled on October 8th, almost a week after the Oregon school shooting, and they reflect a healthy increase in popular interest in the subject of gun control and a corresponding boost in traffic.

The most obvious thing I see is that The Firearm Blog and Guns.com have both leapfrogged Bearing Arms on the hit parade. Not by much, but it happened. This is of interest because Bearing Arms has quite possibly the biggest social media presence of all the gun blogs and is often among the most strident and outspoken of the lot, meaning they would probably be the most shared of all the blogs. But they lost ground in Q3, which is a first for them.

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Another point of interest is that The Trace (a project funded entirely by Michael Bloomberg to advance his gun control agenda) and Shooting Tracker (a website which the owner confirmed is a propaganda project in favor of gun control) have marched into the middle of the pack. More popular than the NRA blog, but still far from the top, they definitely have seen a big spike over the last couple weeks. Shooting Tracker alone has risen over 1.6 million places in the overall global traffic rankings in the last week, but you can be sure that as soon as the media realizes that their gun control push is falling on deaf ears, they’ll once again slip back below WeGotUsSomeMedicalWaste.com.

The reason we’re on top and remain that way quarter after quarter? Gun reviews. We’ve got well over four hundred of them in our database with more coming every day, and even long after they’re published people keep clicking on them. Want a good illustration of that? Here’s the top 25 articles from last quarter:

  1. Gun Review: GLOCK 43
  2. BREAKING: Two Journalists Reported Killed in On-Camera Shooting in VA [VIDEO]
  3. BREAKING: ATF Declares Soda Can Launcher an AOW, All Owners Now Possibly Felons
  4. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield
  5. Gun Review: Ruger AR-556
  6. 10 Things No Concealed Carrier Should Ever Do
  7. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport
  8. Gun Review: GLOCK 42
  9. Gear Review: 5.56 Muzzle Device Shootout
  10. Gun Review: Taurus Millenium G2 – 9 mm
  11. The Truth About Barrel Length, Muzzle Velocity and Accuracy
  12. Lafayette Theater Shooter’s Pistol Purchase Was Not, In Fact, Legal
  13. Gun Review: SIG SAUER P320
  14. Gun Review: SCCY CPX-2
  15. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson SD9 VE
  16. The Home Defense Shotgun is Dead
  17. Six Pocket Guns to Avoid Like the Plague
  18. Gun Comparison: Ruger LC9 vs. LC9s
  19. Gun Review: SIG SAUER P938
  20. ATF May Soon Reclassify Some Machine Guns as “Post Sample” and Non-Transferrable
  21. BREAKING: VA Tries to Confiscate Disabled Vet’s Guns, Stopped by Citizens and Sheriff Standing Guard
  22. ATF Re-Classifies Certain Flares and 40mm Chalk Rounds as Explosives, Begins Confiscation
  23. Question of the Day: Why Do So Many People With Permits Decide Not to Carry?
  24. Getting Your Own FFL – The Pros and Cons
  25. Gun Review: SIG SAUER MPX Pistol

The #1 most clicked article all quarter was our review of the GLOCK 43. And it wasn’t even close — that post has had about 50% more clicks than the next most popular article on the list. There are some breaking news stories sprinkled in the mix, but in general, as it’s always been, the most read articles at TTAG continue to be gun reviews.

That just about sums up the quarter. Things are chugging along just fine, we continue to be the #1 firearms-related publication in the world, and our gun reviews are about the most popular thing on the internet besides Kim Kardashian’s backside. Call me Huey Lewis because that’s been The News.

comments

  1. avatar Another Robert says:

    Naval gazing? You mean like sitting on the beach watching ships go by? Wish I was there…

    1. avatar Common Reason says:

      It’s worth noting that, similar to the way Google News has acted to de-list some conservative news sites completely, and Facebook de-ranks .. and even censors/deletes .. some types of anti-establishment news and social movements, Alexa was caught during a period beginning in September of 2014 modifying their metrics so that all the top conservative websites were dropped precipitously in the published rankings .. while all the top Leftist and pro-establishment websites were boosted. I won’t comment extensively on its implications, there are hundreds of articles available chronicling the ‘thought-crime hockey stick’, but for a pro-RKBA/Firearms website to be seen doing well .. on Alexa .. is a strong performance indeed. It seems likely that you’re even larger than they report.

  2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    At first, I was kind of surprised at The Trace and Shooting Tracker. But I think it may be that a lot of us like to keep tabs on them.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Well, there are also a lot of “journalists” and TV talking heads who have to check those sites regularly for their marching orders…

  3. avatar Bob says:

    Congrats our your success…. Now go post a review on the sig legion so it will make the top 25….. Oh wait it’s already posted… Click away people click away!!!!!

  4. avatar Roy says:

    Bearingarms.com got lucky that they scored the “2nd Amdenment” page name on Facebook. Who the hell wouldn’t “like” the “2nd Amendment?” They totally scored.

    Keep up the good work! On the topic of gun reviews… It would be nice if when I click on gun reviews in the top ribbon that I just get sent to a blog style layout like the main page. Often times, I just want to see if I missed a recent gun review without having to scroll through all the non-gun reviews in the main page. The database search should be a secondary option, not the only option. IMO.

  5. avatar Mikial says:

    I like TTAG, and read and post quite a bit. I guess the only thing that I’ve noticed is that we are all so often preaching to the choir about gun control issues and even bickering among ourselves over things. We really need to present a united front to the antis, because the same people who push for gun control are really pushing to deprive us of our rights and they will not stop at the Second Amendment.

    These people will go all that way if we let the. Gun confiscation, stopping Free Speech if we criticize their poster boys, controlling where we can go, what we can eat, what we can watch and read, and taking everything away from those of us who have worked to get where we are in order to give it to those who refuse to work. Just today the news came out that Social Security is being cut, something we have paid into all our lives, but welfare is going strong. Control. You control a population by providing their basic needs and letting them know that you will take them away from them if they do not comply.

  6. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I’m doing my part with the page views. I also give a plug for you guys on some of the goofy FB gun groups I belong too. It is interesting how gun reviews years old get so many looks(I looked at the Ruger Ar556 review several times). My wife has a successful blog in the decorating world and it is oh so hard to monetize it. SO-keep it up. Personally I am no fan or GUNS and the Firearm Blog is way too political for a blog who claims to be non-political. It’s also difficult to comment and extremely glitchy on my computer(YOU guys have gotten better except for edit)…

    1. avatar Mikial says:

      I agree. TTAG works pretty good.

      CTD’s The Shooter’s Log is terrible. The “reply” function in your email never takes you to the comment you want to reply to, only to where you can leave a general comment. Consequently, you have to scroll through all the comments to find the one you want to respond to. I’ve told them about it several times, and they say they’re working on it but their blog is outsourced.

      Sounds like they need a new vendor.

  7. avatar Silver says:

    I’d venture to guess that more gun guys visit anti sites than the other way around. We keep tabs on them, put soon to be deleted posts on their sites, and in general get the whole lay of the land. Antis don’t. Facts, different points of view, and a healthy rounding of knowledge are utterly detrimental to their agenda, so they never visit gun sites. They’re more akin to pets than people, only doing as their masters order and never giving a thought to the contrary.

    That said, keep up the good work. No pressure, but blogs like this might decide the fate of the nation by spreading the good word.

  8. avatar Dunebuggy says:

    No if we could just use the forums to be able to ask questions, post articles or even just converse.
    I have asked for a resend of my registration email 10 times still have not received one. I emailed TTAG and the only response I get is from google saying they cannot contact the host and will continue to try.

  9. avatar Bill says:

    Perhaps you should stop providing direct links to sites like Trace. It’s too easy to click on them and build their page counts. If someone really wants to see their drivel, they can google it.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Better that you proceed to the libtard site from a progun site. This shows up in their “metrics”.

      If 1/2 their visitors come from TTAG, their wackadoodle sponsors (if there are such) will see the the “enemy” (us) is infiltrating the cesspool and discount any $ paid. Or at least that is the theory in the pixieland of the internet.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Most of the anti-gun sites are flush with Bloomberg’s money, so advertisers are not something they worry about.

        The real concern with linking is that it improves their search engine placement. When a site is linked to from a legitimate, popular site, that feeds into the algorithm that decides where on the list of search results it goes. A bunch of links from TTAG and other pro-gun sites to the The Trace or the demanding moms means that when people do searches on topics like gun control, those are going to be higher than they otherwise would be.

    2. avatar Mikial says:

      @Bill

      That’s actually a really good point. Stop clicking to the antis sites, it just encourages them. If you want to see what they’re up to, just go there once. maybe we should be organized enough, that TTAG or someone else goes there once, and then tells the rest of us what they’re saying.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        “Guns are bad!”
        “Ammosexual!”
        “I don’t want to think critically about anything.”

        There, I just told you what all of those sites are saying. Re-read that list as needed, there won’t ever be anything new to add.

        1. avatar Silver says:

          Add some death threats against gun owners and psychotic wish fulfillment usually heard in facilities for the criminally insane, and you’re right on the money. That sums them all up.

  10. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Uh oh! Looks like mom’s demand action is trying to climb out of the toilet! Better flush again.

    TFB looks like it has gained some ground. They have pretty decent articles but the comments section is so full of BS and know it alls that I have never participated in any discussions. I see a few TTAGers take people to task over there which is entertaining.

    1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      Yeah I guess-don’t you dare defend Taurus,Kel-tec or a Hi-point carbine(even if all yours ran flawlessly). I usually just peruse TFB once a month to see gun reviews…

  11. avatar David B says:

    Here’s some feedback–YMMV–I don’t read or click on the “Quote of the day.” I bet these posts get fewest look-sees. I hope you don’t spend too much time on them.

  12. avatar schernobyl says:

    Bearing arms mobile site sucks, hate having to click continue reading and it doesn’t display a comments section. Those are the reasons I don’t visit as often.

  13. avatar Jim says:

    I check this site multiple times a day because the site has new stories and articles added quite frequently.

  14. avatar C.S. says:

    Internet Explorer crashes frequently with JavaScript enabled, please fix.

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      Simple fix. Download Mozilla Firefox, install it, and delete your IE shortcut.

  15. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    I would note that using readership of American Rifleman as a representation of NRA’s journalistic reach isn’t a valid comparison. All NRA members have the option to receive one of three publications, American Rifleman, America’s 1st Freedom or American Hunter. Or we can chose to not receive a print publication and view them all online.

    For those not yet members:
    American Hunter is as you would expect mostly devoted to hunting.
    American Rifleman is more devoted to gun & gear reviews and historical gun pieces.
    America’s 1st Freedom is more devoted to the political scene.
    They all share certain pieces (messages from NRA leadership, current events, armed citizen stories, etc.)

  16. avatar Number 6 says:

    Often I’ll start to read an article in other firearm blogs or magazines and realize I already read about it here.

  17. I have the right to protect myself and if you don’t like it tough $hit.
    No double standards put DC politicians on Obamacare and SS.Thanks for your support and vote.Pass the word. mrpresident2016.com

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