Auburn Family looks back at the top stories of 2014 based upon the number of unique readers (unique pageviews). The results below are taken from Google Analytics results from January 1 to December 31, 2014.
Current and evergreen stories make up our most read articles of 2014. Evergreen stories are those that may have been written years ago, but they are topics that are forever on the minds of the public.
Auburn Family's mobile traffic continues its growth. More people access Auburn Family via their smartphones and tablets, although desktop traffic is still strong during the day. Also, our emphasis on search engine optimization of stories and the move toward more listicles and meme driven stories continues to boost Auburn Family's traffic. You'll see the evidence in the list below - twelve of the top twenty stories are listicles.
lis·ti·cle (ˈistək(ə)l) noun
an article on the Internet presented in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list.
The top story for 2014 is an evergreen story actually driven by a reddit.com meme that spiked readership in 2014. It is also Auburn Family's all-time top story. Hey, people love the Foy Front Desk.
Alex Kistler's story from 2011 leads the list. "The James E. Foy Information Desk has plenty of experience in handling the unexpected. For this twenty- four hour call in service, answering questions ranging from all different types of topics has become almost second nature to most of its employees." (Of note, this story had a little over 100,000 readers in 2014.)
Caleigh Lentz's article from February 2014 still strikes a chord with Auburn faithful. "10. You know someone went to Auburn when the only “Momma’s Love” comes from Momma Goldberg’s Deli."
Savanah Segrest found a meme that made thousands share her story. From November 2014: "As college students most of us are focused on passing that impossible Calculus test or figuring out how we are going to live on only 30 dollars of Tigercard money for the rest of the semester."
Laura Huddleston's memory lane article from November 2014 strikes home with all those that have reminisced as graduation draws closer. "As my last semester of classes comes to a close, it is fun to look back on my time spent at this wonderful university and think about all I have learned. Don’t get me wrong, all the classes I’ve taken and the professional experience I’ve gained are important, but sometimes you learn a few extra things along the way."
Danielle Albert's explanation of Auburn's unique defining 'yell' still draws a lot of traffic. Her story was published in February of 2011 and it still ranks in the top 5 links when people Google the question, "What is War Eagle?" Danielle writes, "The mystery surrounding the origin of Auburn University’s battle cry, 'War Eagle,' abounds more each year as increasingly more fans proclaim they know the accurate 'War Eagle' story."
Yay, Shannon (Walton) Evanko! Shannon owns two of Auburn Family's top stories for 2014. Shannon's March 2014 article is another testament to the draw of nostalgia as a popular storyline. "Let’s have a collective moment of honesty here. Whether you’re an Auburn student, alumni, fan or resident, you’ve had that moment: 'Man I just MISS Auburn.'”
Haley Olver also has the unique distinction of owning two of 2014's top stories. The topics could not be more dissimilar. Her top story is a listicle about Auburn's largest non-university sanctioned event - Rodeo, from April 2014. "Ladies and gentleman, the time has come. The brothers of Alpha Psi are once again hosting Auburn’s single largest fundraising event. Rodeo is THE party of the south. You have one week to prepare yourselves mentally and physically. Ready, Set, Go!"
Jordan Holladay's December 2011 story proves that organic search can drive great traffic. Jordan chose a topic related to a favorite holiday. His take on a popular party theme still drives thousands upon thousands of readers to Auburn Family. Jordan's story still shows up on the first page of Google results for "how to play dirty Santa." Jordan shares: "When most people play the game, Dirty Santa, it involves each person bringing a gift, drawing a number and trying to steal the gift they want. The Holladay household in Opelika, Ala., however, has always played Dirty Santa a little different."
Nostalgia and celebration of Auburn's success drives Shannon (Walton) Evanko's second top story for 2014. This one is from April 2014: "Arguably one of the greatest years in Auburn University history for students, here's to the seniors, Class of 2014, and the moments they got to experience during their final year at Auburn."
Allie Heckel's nostalgic look at life's changes from a student's first day at Auburn through graduation is still a very popular article. Allie looks at everything from social networking and relationships to diet and study habits.
You've never actually ordered coffee before now, so you listen to what the person in front of you is getting. "I'll take a large, um, I mean Venti Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with extra whipped cream, please."
Iced coffee. It runs through your veins at this point.
Hey, when you're considered the greatest athlete of all-time ... and Auburn's beloved favorite son ... well, your story is going to be popular. Bonus points when your daughter tells the story, too. Sloane Hudson's interview with Morgan Jackson from April 2012 is still very popular. Everyone loves Bo!
Auburn lost Henry Stern in 2014. A 1960 graduate of Auburn University, "Big Henry" was a well known and much beloved figure in Opelika and Auburn. This story was reprinted from Anna Asbury Larkin's article in East Alabama Living magazine back in 2008. Anna's mother, Kate Asbury Larkin, kindly agreed to share the story. "It started as an OHS 10th grade history paper and was rewritten as a feature for the magazine. I still get chills every time I read it. All is well now, Mr. Henry; all is well."
Haley Olver's second top story of 2014 announces the news of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine finally beginning construction. "VCOM, also known as the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, has gone viral and is the hot topic on Auburn University’s campus right now. VCOM is a new era of academia that is bringing on a variety of opinions from the university’s students." Published in Auburn Family in May 2014, the story was originally published on September 20, 2012.
We don't do cold every well. A common refrain: Auburn weather? If you don't like it now, wait an hour. It will change. Mary Katherine (Scarbrough) Henley captures the Auburn rites of spring quite well in this March 2014 listicle of changing seasons. "Even though winter in Alabama is nothing compared to a northern winter, its residents are not conditioned to withstand even the faintest of cold weather. We are all ready for it to be over by the time February rolls around. However, an Alabama spring is not for the weak of heart."
This story, with it's accompanying video, gives "Taking the plunge" and "Making the big leap" new meaning. Kasey Langley shared this story in August 2014. "It all began in the student section of Jordan-Hare Stadium at the Auburn football game versus Florida-Atlantic on September 24, 2011. This Auburn pair met for the first time at their favorite place on earth during the greatest time of year despite them growing up just a few miles away from each other."
Other top stories from 2014:
Ethan Brady's July 2014 story: 10 Unexpected Reasons I Would Choose The Loveliest Village Again
Katie Wendland's October 2014 story: 7 Things You Should Know About the College of Agriculture
Hailey Kornman's October 2013 story: Top 10 Comparisons Between Auburn University and Hogwarts
Susie Bridges' April 2014 story: 50 Pieces of Advice to Freshmen Girls from a Senior
Anna Henderson's November 2014 story: Hard Work Conquers All: Auburn Student Launches Clothing Brand
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