What website doesn’t spend a little time ogling their vital statistics (google analytics) at the end of the year? It’s like the final report card, and CC got some very good grades in 2012. Our readership has grown a whopping 300% since this time last year; with over 120,000 Unique Visitors in the past thirty days. And recently, we hosted our one millionth new visitor. So what did those visitors come for? Here’s the top ten stories, as ranked by their views:
Before we do that, its relevant to know that CC attracts primarily two kinds of visitors: recurring ones (like you), and one-night stands. About 50% of our visitors are always new, meaning they found their way here for one article due to a google search or a link from another web sites. A few of those tend to stick around, but many get their specific fix and move on, or at least for a while. The point is, these top ten articles are here not so much here because of their relative popularity with you regular CC readers, but because they either get a lot of google searches, were linked by other websites, or both.
1. An X-Ray Look At GM’s X Frames: It just goes to show that the web (and google) appreciates content that is unique. To my knowledge, there’s nothing else out there that has taken a stab at this oft-misunderstood subject. And its hardly all that in-depth; a good one-day’s work for me. In the process, I think I might have dampened a certain someone’s enthusiasm to write a book on the subject. Sorry; that’s how the web works. I should probably do more posts like this: what do you suggest would be popular that no one else has done?
2. The Legendary Buick Nailhead V8: This one was also second most popular last year. There’s quite a few articles and posts on the nailhead, but ours is now the second ranked by google after a wikipedia entry on all Buick V8 engines.
The most popular post in 2011? The 1965 Barracuda CC, because a big website that shows its readers how to replace the glass on their Apple devices linked to it, because of the ‘Cudas giant rear window. Random…
3. The World’s Greatest Wagons: Peugeot 203, 403, 404, 504 and 505: Being a unique subject and a number one google search rank continue to make this one very popular.
4. 1971: The Year Booth Babes Took It All Off : No big surprise here: Jalopnik ran a story about naked Chinese booth babes recently (with no real naked girls though), and included a link to this old post (which does have the real thing). Gawker also linked to the Jalopnik story. It resulted in an all-time record day for CC, for what it’s worth. I doubt very many of them stayed around.
5. 1990 Caprice Classic Brougham LS (by Tom Klockau): Never underestimate the drawing power of the word “Brougham”. Maybe we should do a spin-off site called Brougham Classics. I see it too has floated to the top of its google search rankings.
6. 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis-Panthers Run In The Family (by Jim Cavanaugh): “Panther” also sells, along with “Brougham” and sex (now we need to combine all three in one post). This one first ran in 2011, so it too has also been the beneficiary of links and searches. What typically happens is that forums dedicated to certain cars will pick up an article like this and link to it.
7. 1990 VW LT 4×4 Westfalia Camper: Again, the only other google ranked article on the LT in addition to wikipedia. Our posts tend to be fairly different than wikipedia’s, with better pictures and a more personal approach, as well as lots of comments. We try to complement, not compete with them.
8. 1980 Cadillac Seville – GM’s Deadly Sin #17: Deadly Sins sell too, if not quite as well as sex.
9. The Short And Odd Life Of The Two Door Station Wagon: This one took me a bit by surprise, but then I see it too has a #1 google search ranking. The lesson: write about unusual subjects, so that there’s little or no competition on the web. It too is the only piece out there specifically on that subject.
10. Powerglide: A GM’s Greatest Hit Or Deadly Sin?: Another top-ranked post at google, after wikipedia.
Biggest Ratings Disappointment of 2012: Battle Cruiser – Dad Built Armored Car So His Son Would Be Safe When He Went Off To School In Hollywood: True confession: This is the only post I did so far specifically in the hopes it would get picked up by some big site. I sent a link to Jalopnik, thinking it would be perfect for them. I still can’t believe they didn’t bite. Maybe they didn’t get my e-mail. Oh well; it was still a fun find and a good story. And like many, I only got the real story behind it from a commenter.
So what stands out here (other then uncovered breasts)? Only four of these top ten are actual Curbside Classics. Maybe we we should do more Automotive Histories. Or naked girls. So what was your favorite CC post in 2012?