By on February 22, 2009

If you wanted a ride, all you had to do was ask. (courtesy


Google Analytics provides an interesting look as to how visitors reach a website. I’d like to give our B&B some examples of how others (those who do not subscribe to the RSS feed or those who’ve not bookmarked TTAC) come our way and you’ll find the reason near the end of this post.

Below is a selection of the most interesting “entrance keywords” in the hope of giving you an insight in to the psyche of the non-B&B. Consider this: TTAC receives orders of magnitude more visitors than we have registered users. And, of registered users, a relatively small percentage are active participants (guest writers and active commenters), a.k.a. the Best & Brightest.

Between now and the first of the year, people typed “thetruthaboutcars” (nearly 30,000 times) into Google Search. Are these people unclear on the concept? Sure, some of these people may be anti-bookmark—or have so many bookmarks (like me) that they’re useless—and type the name and let autocomplete autocomplete their request—but 30,000?

Moreover, more than 50,000 times people Google-searched “ttac”—same concept, folks, as redirects here.

Now, this one . . . um, really?! Nearly 4,000 Google-searched “”. I know none of our B&B do that. B&B, see how bright you really are?

Nearly 2,000 times the phrase “nissan versa defroster broken” brought us visitors. Good luck to whomever needs it, but I don’t think we can help. You may want to let Mr. Karesh know, though.

About 1,200 times the phrase “subaru poor man’s volvo” directed folks to us. The mind boggles.

Anyone care to guess how the phrase “pick-up, arkansas, froggers, fuses, and 22 cartridge” sent approximately 1,300 visitors here? Hint: you’ll know it if you believe in evolution.

If ever you have doubted the conundrum that is GM branding, a little over 1,000 searches of “what is a buick” directed visitors here.

Oh, now this is creepy: 666 searches of “suv flying vagina” brought us visitors. Farago’s got to be proud . . . .

Finally, it seems a famous (or is he infamous?) auto journalist and former TTAC contributor is revisiting his article (or maybe just the comments): 386 searches for “grosse pointe myopians” were made in the last month or so.

So, what does this have to do with anything? Back when we ran the survey on what terms we should use on TTAC, there were a few comments made to the effect that TTAC visitors are smart enough to figure out the various terms used by our esteemed writers. Now that you have the Analytics information that I have presented, do you think that’s true? Speaking of that survey . . . please see my next post.

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21 Comments on “A Peek Under the Hood...”

  • avatar

    Did RF really coin the term “flying vagina”? If so, it should be in his wikipedia entry.

    Oh wait… It already is.

  • avatar

    Gee, Googling “subaru poor mans volvo” doesn’t even get ttac on the first page of result!

  • avatar

    Forgive me, I just threw off your stats by googling “Grosse Point Myopians” to refresh my memory of said article.

  • avatar

    Moreover, more than 50,000 times people Google-searched “ttac”—same concept, folks, as redirects here.

    I do this because it’s a lot quicker to type “ttac” into a browser’s search bar than to mouse over to a bookmark menu or type the full address, especially on a mobile device.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    I have the site bookmarked. I came here via BITOG , which was refered to me by a guy I met at an E28 site.

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    For a little while, “” didn’t redirect to here. It didn’t go anywhere, actually.

  • avatar

    Half of all web site stats are bullshit. I always find reading my site stats worth 30 minutes of chuckles and guffaws.


  • avatar

    I used to do the truth about cars thing. Google is my home page, and with the search assist, a couple of key strokes gives you the site. Now I have TTAC in bookmark’s toolbar.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    “Nearly 4,000 Google-searched ‘’.”

    I do that sort of thing all the time (not for TTAC), but if an url is not a link on a page (fairly common in newspaper articles), I can select it and google search it, without moving my hand from the mouse. The search will return an active link in a new tab that can be clicked on. Depending on where my hands were when I started, it can be faster than copying and pasting into the nav bar.

  • avatar

    @Robert Schwartz: That is a giant PITA. Thankfully, I use Firefox and the Fetch Text URL add-on. Select, right-click, and there you go.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Google analytics should be called Google raw data dump. It tells you less than it seems to.

  • avatar
    Cerbera LM

    My google reader says there are 21 google readers subscribed to ttac and 107.6 posts/week.

  • avatar

    I find that I end up using Google to get to an older article more quickly. Doing a simple search for the Grosse Point Myopia article, as an example, brought up a recent article that had the word “appointed” in it, because “point” was one of my search words. Google gets me to the older articles so much quicker.

    Another example, I was researching the Dodge Challenger last fall, and I liked the TTAC review, but searching for “Dodge Challenger review” brought up many “review” articles more recent than the Challenger one. It also found any article that had “Dodge” in it, and likewise “Challenger”.

    Now I know I could use quotations to get an exact match, and mostly the reviews are titled as “Review: “, but sometimes other things pop up at it gets annoying to click “Previous Entries” over and over again.

    I guess what I’m saying is the search function at TTAC kinda sucks and Google makes it way faster to search a website. Did you know you can set it to do a search on a specific website as a filter? It’s really neat!

  • avatar

    I have entered a URL into the google tool bar on strange computers, and even my own, on many occasions. I then lose several seconds of my life figuring out why I didn’t get what I expected.

  • avatar

    I found TTAC when first using Google Reader. It was one of the sites that came with it when I first used it – I think they were the Reader programmer’s favorite sites or something.

    Since then, the RSS feed is nested in my Firefox toolbar.

  • avatar
    Jeff Puthuff

    Cerbera (Cerberus?):

    According to my Google Reader:

    Feed URL:
    Posts per week:111.3
    Last updated:2:26 AM (25 minutes ago)

  • avatar

    Back during the logo design contest (whatever happened to that BTW?) I kept using TTAC in my design and told people to stop putting the full web address since it was unnecessary. Thanks to Google you need very little information to get people to your site.

    Lets face it Google is a VERB, and by now everyone knows websites start with www and end with com, net, org… etc. Newbies think in order to get anywhere on the web you have to start with Google. I’ve seen people freak out when their home page doesn’t load in their browser, claiming the internet is “broken”.

    Now I use the RSS feed on my Yahoo home page, plus a bookmark in Firefox to get here. Not sure how I found TTAC in the first place but after reading a couple of articles I was hooked.

  • avatar

    Possible explanation for searches on the domain name… in Firefox and Safari (and some versions of Internet Explorer?), the search box is right next to the address bar. Because I often search and rarely use the address bar, I sometimes find myself searching for domain names. Honest mistake, and it is faster just to perform the search (and click the resulting link) than to start over.

    Another possibility; Google’s Chrome web browser uses Google to interpret anything typed in the address/search bar (The field is both the address bar and the search bar). Very handy, and something I expect other browsers to do in the future… but it also may mean that domains-as-searches show up in Google’s statistics.

  • avatar

    That’s pretty sophisticated information you have there. You must have some pretty sharp people at TTAC.

  • avatar

    In haste, sometimes I’ll accidentally punch in the URL to the Google Toolbar search window on my browser instead of the address line. That (entirely common mistake) could explain the Google redirects for the entire website name.

    But I have TTAC RSS-linked to my Google Reader… which BTW… would be a lot nicer if you wouldn’t abbreviate the article until you click-through. But, I suppose ya gotta make a buck.

  • avatar

    Here’s another possible explanation for the popularity of “thetruthaboutcars” and “ttac”: if you enter a domain name without .com in the Address box in Internet Explorer 5/6, it automatically appends the top-level domains (.com etc) until it hits a valid site. If you do the same thing in Firefox, it searches Google for the site and goes to the top result (like hitting the I Feel Lucky button). Maybe some people are used to that feature.

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