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?
Ah yes, the year TVR made their reputation, never mind how good their cars actually were. What’s funny is that you’ve posted one of the only two pictures of the display I’ve ever seen on the Internet. The other is the model on the hood from the front (definitely NSFW).
If anything it shows how far we’ve regressed socially in the past 40 years. What a pity.
Agreed: especially your last statement.
another +1 to that. And you would think that lots more angles would have made their way online given the # of photographers at that show. Although perhaps many of the pictures are hidden in an old filing cabinet somewhere.
My experience with local blogging is that a goodly chunk of one’s “top” stories become so due to things you just can’t predict. So I think it best to write what is most interesting to you and see where that leads.
Agreed 100%. And that’s what we do, hopefully.
I don’t get how Peugeot wagons could rank at number 3…?? Maybe you should create a list by how many “comments” your articles received during the past year. Seems to me that this would be a healthier barometer of popularity.
Other than my whining, I check this site frequently and enjoy most articles here. One of my favorite things is searching for wallpaper images of certain cars on Google image, and CC pics usually show up in the results.
Speaking of wallpaper…
The 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance sedan:
Two things: the correlation between comments and total views is moderately strong in the first few days of a post, when our regular readers first see a post. But even then, it’s not consistent. Some days folks just seem more energized to comment; other days not so much so. It’s a curious thing…
But posts like the Peugeot wagon keep getting views for months and years, but those don’t generate a lot of comments. But they bring folks to the site, and many do check out our other articles, and maybe become a regular reader. So they play an important role.
“Some days folks just seem more energized to comment; other days not so much so. It’s a curious thing…”
Me? Guilty as charged. The “foreign” stuff, for the most part doesn’t peak much interest in me due to the fact I have little experience in most of them, although some do – it’s all about the car and how it moves (or doesn’t) move me.
Perhaps my interest is just too narrow and limited to my actual experience with a particular car – or who drove it.
I’ll bet there isn’t much on Peugeot wagons out there so whatever amount of people there are out there searching for them we get a majority of. Same with Lada Niva pickup trucks I suspect. Big slice of a smaller pie.
I have a similar experience on my personal blog regarding writing about topics Google doesn’t know much about. One of my hobbies is collecting and using vintage film cameras, and my blog is a top-10 hit for several cameras. Try it: search for Argus A-Four, Kodak Pony 135, and Minolta Hi-Matic 7, and scan for “Down the Road,” the name of my blog. My old-camera posts are far and away the most visited on my blog, and not by a little bit.
Trouble is, people who search their way onto my blog almost never subscribe and keep reading. The fun in blogging is the community of readers who comment, and my long-tail camera posts just don’t enhance that very much. Do you find the same to be true here at CC?
If the link is from an automotive site like Jalopnik or TTAC, or others, I have found that our readership usually experiences a bump for a few days, then settles down, but at a permanently higher level. Fortunately, we do seem to retain a number of those visitors, who might not otherwise have known about us. That explains the growth, no doubt.
How else do folks find their way here?
I don’t remember exactly how I got here, but it was probably via TTAC or Jalopnik. I cut them some time ago because I couldn’t keep up with the volume (and Jalopnik’s mission seemed to drift away from stuff that interested me). CC is the only car blog I read.
I impulsively pick random thoughts & plug them into Google frequently and the result of one of those queries brought me to Tom Klockau’s 1966 Caprice CC. By that time, the article had aged somewhat but it was enough to hook me. Since that day, I frequent this place more than any other site (including Craigslist, thank goodness).
For selfish reasons, I hope the population doesn’t grow a whole lot more because part of my entertainment is getting used to some of the personalities here. I don’t like some of you guys and I’m sure the feeling is mutual, but for the most part, everyone here acts like grown-ups which is quite rare for any car-related community.
I think I found this place through TTAC when it was first established.
I prefer this place to TTAC and a few other places because there’s no politics, just curbside classics.
God yes! +1
+100. Whoever called that crowd “The Best and The Brightest” had a really sick sense of humor. Love the articles, spend most of my time cringing from the idiot comments.
Half the time, I assume that the term is used sarcastically.
I came here through the 61 Rampside piece, after I had found one on craigslist (which my father later purchased) and wanted to read more. Once here I noticed the DKW on the side, and saw there were a lot of interesting things to see
Off topic, but I came here to comment on all of the TLRs in the main image, and then you mentioned Argus, which reminded me that I have a working Argus Super75 and A2F. Funny how this works.
I visited your blog yesterday & decided to begin exploring it soon. Actually, most of my internet enrichment comes from a few people’s blogs.
For example, the two following gentlemen have no idea that I’m a big fan of theirs & and that I read their thoughts on a nearly daily basis:
It’s amazing what’s out there.
Not sure why but post you did a while back on 1965 LTD and start of the Brougham era is pretty much my favorite. I have asked for more Model T but have since discovered a bunch of sites about the T (and the A).
Keep up the good work!
Happy New Year to all.
Most of the T’s and A’s found on the curbside today don’t get coverage on this site, unless we are talking about Booth Babes….
Happy New Year!!!! Its just past midnight! (Remember, I’m out East….) 😀
Happy 2013 its been Jan 1 for a while now here but Aotearoa is the first to see the new day. Always good to read your take on things Paul the CC formula works still the best old car site on the web bar none.
The articles that I contribute don’t generate a lot of responses but I am amused by the strength of some responses-“the best article ever…” and such. My articles are too idiosyncratic to appeal widely but I enjoy putting together every post.
Nothing wrong with idiosyncratic; that’s what gives a website spice. Formulaic equals boring. A key reason I enjoyed Car & Driver in the golden years was that it wasn’t afraid to try off-beat stuff, some of which was quite funny.
I miss the 70’s
I feel sorry for anyone born after 1960. They missed that last golden decade, when society was still expanding. By 1984, the last remnants were dead.
This is a site that taught me a lot. Still read daily. Still enjoy daily. Thanks for keeping the show rolling. Agree with the above commenter that the absence of politics is a strong positive.
Happy new year Paul and I hope all is going well.
What drew me to CC was a link to the Opel Kadett Wagen Assassination by Car and Driver, posted by a fellow Opel Alumn on OpelGT.Com. And since then I’ve checked in most every day. A friendly vibe by the authors and commentators is just icing on the cake! And like the lead photo to this story, a nice tongue in cheek humor about it all!
The Deadly Sins brought me here. As I was too young to remember them myself, I wanted to know what all the fuss was about when GM went kaput. My thought at the time was “The only Chevy’s I ever see are cop cars. Who cares if they go out of business?” Knowing the history really lights up the story.
Patina to the front!
I dare you all to google “Funky 70s Breakfast” I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised!