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There’s nothing I love more than when I log into the WordPress stats system and see another spike in traffic. The only issue is when I know that the spike isn’t sustainable, such as the massive near-doubling of our traffic in the aftermath of Sandy Hook. I knew that the ride wouldn’t last, and as traffic slipped back to “normal” levels, it was slightly concerning. But in the last two quarters, I’ve happy to see our numbers continue the previous trend of steady growth. And we are indeed firmly back on track . .


Like I said, the “slump” following the post-Newtown gun control furor was a little ulcer-inducing. Watching every day as the numbers dipped was driving me to drink. But finally, we bottomed out. And then I watched as the numbers started climbing again, following the general trend that we’ve been seeing for the previous years.


Even the number of unique visitors slumped after the bubble burst. I think it was mainly due to people burning out on gun-related news, and needing a break. Whatever the reason, it looks like they’re back now. At our peak we were seeing over 1.2 million readers a month. We’ve now gotten back to around 1.1 million. And climbing.

Here are the top 15 articles from this quarter:

  1. Black Man Shoots White Teen, Jury says Self Defense. And Nobody Cares
  2. Gun Review: Ruger LC9
  3. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport
  4. Gun Review: Glock 19 Gen4 9X19mm
  5. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield
  6. Gun Review: Hi-Point C9 9mm Pistol
  7. Gun Review: FN Five-SeveN
  8. Gun Review: Mosin-Nagant
  9. Gun Review: Beretta Nano
  10. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson BODYGUARD 38 and BODYGUARD 380
  11. Gun Review: Ruger SR22
  12. Chicago Firearms Confiscation Begins
  13. Gun Review: SIG SAUER P226
  14. Ammunition Review: .300 AAC Blackout
  15. Gun Review: Springfield Armory XD-S .45 ACP

As always, gun reviews lead the hit parade of traffic generators. Google loves us and our objective, thorough reviews seem to hit the spot when people are researching new guns. We’ll be churning out even more reviews this quarter and giving our dedicated readers a peek at some brand new companies, some well-established makers and some historical guns to boot. It’s gonna be fun.

In the meantime, we will continue with the politics and important gun-related news that you have come to rely on us to provide on a daily basis.

Keep reading — it only gets better from here.

And for those who doubt the numbers (as some do), here’s the readout from Google Analytics.

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  1. Yup, looks like a pretty steady curve when you subtract the spikes. Congrats.

    Looking forwards to the Historical reviews. It would be nice to get some reviews of some replica firearms for CAS.

    Thanks as always and keep it up.

  2. At least for myself, the reason I stopped visiting was actually the ads. Between the ones that magically reload and autoplay obnoxious context after some length of time and the ones trying to install malware, I cut way back on having the tab open and refreshing it to see what’s happening. In addition to not being on the page, I won’t open multiple tabs because I won’t get to them in time before they reload where either it autoplays something or tries to install some malware.

    And now that I’ve made this comment I need to close this tab (the only TTAG one I have open) before it reloads. I’ll only come back sometime later tonight after hopefully enough other posts have been made.

    • Yes. This. Unfortunately.

      It hasn’t stopped me from visiting TTAG…yet…but it might. The fact that I’m coming back at all shows how much I like this site. I’ve ditched other sites for less.

      I don’t hold advertising per se against anyone — I know it keeps the lights on — but if I were discovering TTAG for the first time right now, with the pop-under/popup ads, the incessant page reloading, and the multiple malware/adware warnings Avast has thrown my way, I probably wouldn’t be coming back.

    • This. I used to just deal with the ads, because I know they help you guys make money. With with the obtrusiveness of the current ads, I had to enable adblock for TTAG. Bring back non-obnoxious ads and I’ll disable it again.

  3. I think there are two reasons why gun reviews might be more popular. News and political articles become dated, while people will still read gun reviews no matter how old they are. They will find this site when they search for reviews of a particular gun, but they aren’t going to search for a particular news story unless they’ve already heard about it.

    Anyway, here is some politics and important gun-related news:

  4. Looks like the curve is just barely starting to flatten out in the pageviews per quarter graph. Plot it with a line instead of bars, and you will see what I mean. Not a big change in the slope of the line, but not as steep as before Sandy Hook.

    If I ran a company, and my profits per quarter chart looked like that, I would be a little concerned. You should be, too. If things don’t improve in the next quarter, then you definitely have the start of a big problem. Your product may be starting to “lose its appeal” with some of your customer base.

    For me, I’m not going anywhere. I love your site. I even like the latest changes (that a few others complained about). They make the page views more colorful, which visually makes them a little more exciting. Keep up the good job.

    • Having complained about the ads, I’ll switch gears and agree with you on this. I love the new layout. It’s easy to read and navigate, nice and bright and clean and easy on the eyes.

  5. Gun reviews are your bread and butter. It’s what brought me here and look at all the others in this thread who say the same.

    Historical guns (and more gun history in general- we all love that shit), gunsmithing lore, gunsmithing tips. Look at the positive reaction to that Bat Masterson PDF.

    In much the same way that you can only see so many folding pocket knives before an automatic browser crash, you can only see so many SBRs. However cool they are, they are still boring as hell. It’s all the same plastic bullshit!

  6. More gun reviews would be good, so would be more gear reviews. The knife site is great but I’m also interested in gunny-related gear too, kinda like what you see in Recoil magazine (all feelings about that issue last year aside). I’m a 22 y/o male who grew up playing halo and COD, firmly in gun culture 2.0 if that helps your demo. I also carry.

    The ads though. My Lord the ads. Autoplaying sounds. Windows opening on their own when I try to go to another page. I will never go on to this site’s desktop mode again if I can help it if this continues. Mobile only- and then I’ll miss all of your advertising, and then that would hurt you guys. Or maybe I’ll stop reading completely. idk – I like your content though – especially Nick’s. Keep it up.

  7. I started reading in Q4 2012 and I have been an almost daily reader since. I think I am also way more into guns than I was a year ago. Thanks!

  8. I love reviews. The politics feed my desire for daily content, but I’m a gun and gear review junky. Please keep the reviews coming, from writers on staff or user submissions.

    However, I do have a suggestion. I believe this would really benefit the Armed Intelligentsia greatly. If TTAG could provide an aggregate link of previous TTAG posts deconstructing gun control arguments, debunking statistics, and countering idealogy and philosophy in one giant, pro-2A mega post easily accessible from the sidebar.

    How many of us have been in online arguments with someone, and want to refer to one one of RF’s posts but just can’t seem to find it? Or spend a while digging through the site’s search function? Hopping on and off Google for supporting evidence on TTAG and the wider web? Sometimes to no avail. And I’m sure Nick could come up with a clever method to get lots of Google pageviews with the right article name. It sounds like a project with a lot of work, but I’m sure RF could assign it one of steadfast and eager staffers. That’d be a great boon for the cause!

    Anyways, keep up the good work. TTAG is my favorite blog. I hit F5 with utter abandon, on a daily basis. Yes… I have a condition.


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