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What is the ManageWP ranking algorithm? It doesn't make sense to me.

Apr. 17, 2014

Can anyone give some insight into how the managewp.org ranking system works. I've long wondered how it all works, and then today I saw this on the "hottest" page:
imgur.com/EeOAbiz

As you can see, there are two articles:

1. Left (higher ranked) - 2 votes in 8 hours
2. Right (lower ranked) - 3 votes in 7 hours

This doesn't make any sense to me. According to my (super-simple) calculations, the articles have the following vote/hr ratios:

1. 0.25 votes/hr (2/8)
2. 0.43 votes/hr (3/7)

Which means article #2 should be ranked higher based solely on votes/hr, right?

Is there some other criteria at play here? What are the other factors/variables? Any insights would be much appreciated.

Comment
23 votes   Flag
Tim Nash

Not sure if Vladimir will want to chip in, he may wish to preserve some of the dark secrets to prevent abuse, but I suspect the differences between the posters Karma has had an effect, also the time of day and what other posts it's competing with to get hot. As you can see a few hours later the second article has floated above the first.

On a side note the Yoast post was really good, and it's depressing to see it buried so quickly, unfortunately WP3.9 came out, but you should really give it a read and give it a vote so it floats back up.

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Vladimir Prelovac

There is an (attempt of :) explanation of the algorithm on managewp.org/about

Basically, each vote is not equal (unlike digg, or reddit). Every user has their own vote strength based on his Karma and activity. A new user has vote strength of 1. Vote strength is not on the profile yet but it will be. You can see top 25 users and their vote strength here: managewp.org/statistics

For example Tim currently has vote strength of 1.78. This means that his vote on an article is 78% stronger then if a new member upvoted it.

So articles are first sorted by sum of all vote points (2 votes doesn't necessarily mean 2 points). And then the time decay function kicks in that make articles lose some points with each hour. It is exponential so the older the article the quicker you go down. This makes sure home page has fresh stuff and best articles (20+ votes currently) can stay up to three-four days.

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Tim Nash

I think "If articles you submit/upvote do not get further upvotes, you basically dilute the strength of your future votes (so do not submit poor content)." should be really emphasised :) maybe on the submit content page, slightly reworded as it's a great idea.

Unfortunately in practice it means people like myself could be seen to game the system, as ultimately I share a large percentage from sites I know people will vote up regardless of story wptavern for example, though I am still selective about which posts to keep it interesting. I then dilute my karma by promoting smaller sites, which have great content but the herd won't always vote up because they simply don't know the site, or they read the article and forgot to vote.

I also do a tiny bit of self promotion, but I try to restrict that to a minimum and so far I think every self promotion has had several votes so I don't feel to bad about it.

Unfortunately someone can easily do exactly the same as me over a few weeks, but their self promote rubbish that's not quite spam but close and do quite well. You could argue that's ok because they have helped the community, or you could argue that they gamed the system.

Thankfully not my judgement call, though I would probably lean towards the later, I may have even gone a bit to aggressive and given a warning to myself.

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Nelio

@Mickey: Just voted you up though reading Vladimir comment, it´s clear my vote won´t have a major impact on your post :-)

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Mickey Kay

Ha ha, thanks anyways :)

I'm curious if anyone knows: have y'all done any comparison against algorithms for popular sites like Digg, Reddit, etc.? For some reason this sites ranking system has always just seemed a little funky to me, and I'm wondering if there any major differences.

And thanks for all the awesome explanation/feedback!

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Tim Nash

Diggs, Old ranking system, was purely first past the post with a bit of moderation so more votes meant higher ranking, though they had a huge amount of moderation (back when it was a popular site) and a large mod team to try and spot cheating which happened so regularly it was laughable.

Reddit is open sourced, so you can take a look at the code to see how it works though a good explanation can be found amix.dk/blog/post/19588 (Hew also covers hacker news)

ManageWP way is much more like Stumbleupon which uses a second voter karma, so it almost doesn't matter who the submitter is, other then spreading the story potentially to a small pool of similar users (determined by stumble not friends) but the second person to thumb up has the greater effect. This causes some fun gaming, as you basically get the friend with the lowest presence on stumbleupon to submit then, get the person with the highest to vote for it. It's an interesting balance mechanic.

I use to teach a uni course (Back when Stumble and Digg were major players) which incorporated looking at some aspects of big social media site design so it's something of a pet hobby. While funky the ManageWP.org use of karma is a clever one, though the lack of negative voting (which discussed before) means it's easy for the top 25 to totally dominate, and historically some of the worse offenders for posting rubbish rather then pure spam are in the top50

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Vladimir Prelovac

I've studied algorithms of Google (pagerank), reddit and hacker news before coming up with the ManageWP.org algo.

@Tim - ManageWP.org does not use second voter karma. Here, sharing a story also counts as your vote to it, so it does matter who shares the story (this is why some 1 vote stories sometimes end up on the first page). Vote strengths from all upvoters (including the submitter) are added together.

I am considering adding downvoting but we have flagging currently as an alternative. And in way an article either needs to be here or doesnt.

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Tim Nash

Sorry should have been more clear I meant Stumble is similar to managewp except they use a system where the submitter vote doesn't count, so the second vote is more important for it to spread.

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Mickey Kay

Awesome explanations - thanks all!

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Vladimir Prelovac

Glad to have helped, feel free to shoot more questions :)

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Codeinwp

Congratulations Vladimir! Looks like you did your homework before starting it, ranking is one of the biggest challenges and looks like you was able to find a solution :) .

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Thomas E Zinsavage Jr.

Thanks for the info. Just found out about this place and I intend to use it and get involved :)

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Augusto Mota

Thanks

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Deleted Account

It confusing me.

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Navrangi Theme

this is very complicated

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Joy Kahn

Its confusing

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