It's been a while since we posted any kind of comprehensive look at our current traffic trends, and I thought now seems like an opportune time. Why
now you might ask? April of 2007 represents the point in time where we-three Amigos (Mark, Simon, and myself) began to really commit ourselves to
moving AboveTopSecret.com from an interesting niche site that was a "serious hobby," into our passionate business venture.
We actually had several serious expansion conversations prior to April of 2007, but as we look back, that month is really the significant turning
point. In March of 2007, we rejected a rather significant buy-out offer from a good-sized media company that had a major web property and a few
smaller site. While the money was good (for our size at the time), we would have eventually lost control of our beloved creation. So we focused on
doing it ourselves with a small group of private investors.
Now, two years later, our traffic (as measured in Quantcast) has exceeded that of the company that wanted to buy us, and the growth charts are rather
This chart shows two-years of growth, measuring our "absolute unique visitors" on a weekly basis. As you can see, we've more than tripled the
number of individual unique visitors coming to ATS within about 22 months, and are trending to quadruple the April 2007 numbers by summer of this
Recently, during this swine-flue traffic peak, we've been averaging 80,000 to 90,000 daily unique visitors. And a good number of those new unique
visitors who came here to learn about swine flu have stuck around to read other topics.
This next chart shows actual weekly traffic as measured in page-views... and just like the visitors chart, we've more than tripled our numbers of
April, 2007. As you can see there are spikes in this chart as various topics have generated peaks of interest. Also, there are some dips which
correspond to seasonal lows... November/December holiday months are always slow periods for us.
This chart, weekly views of the site home page over the past two years, is particularly stunning, show a five-fold increase in activity to our main
site home page. Our improved home page design, member-flagging, and increased awareness of ATS have all contributed to the steep upward growth shown
No website can survive if it's an island unto itself, and the number of visitors we get from search indicates we (ATS management) and you (ATS
members) are doing several things right. Again, a tripling of activity from search engines over a two-year period. Amazing.
And finally, more than anything else, the one true measure of a site's relative worth is how many people visit via voluntarily placed links on other
websites. This graph shows our weekly visitors from referring websites over the past two years -- websites that range from mainstream news to personal
blogs and everything in-between. Again, strong growth with lots of interesting spikes.
For those interested in seeing more granular monthly data, you can visit our stats
download PDF summaries of monthly traffic reports, beginning in September of 2006.
It's been a wild ride these past two years, thanks in a very-large part to the contributions of our members and the excellent community decorum that
is unique to ATS. I want to thank all our members for helping to make this stunning growth a possibility, and assure you that the best is yet to come!
Oh yes... we do have more plans.
edit to add...
And you don't have to just take our word for it. Quantcast, a third-party website traffic ranking service pretty much shows the same thing (the June
'07 dip is from a time where we disabled their code as they had server trouble at the time).
[edit on 1-5-2009 by SkepticOverlord]