Las Olas ‘most popular’ pages – part two

Members of Team Las Olas are really enjoying this feature! And as I said the last time I wrote about it, it is a great game. And as such, three are a few ‘rules of the game’ which I need to explain. They’re not really rules of course, it more about how the system works – the main point being that it’s very sensitive.

We strongly recommend that you try to make sure that your articles are included in the top one hundred list. But there’s one thing that the system hates – and it seems to send it into a bit of a tizzy – and that is when a person repeatedly clicks on their article to falsify the results.

If this happens, the system resets itself – everything goes back to zero and it starts again. What’s more, it can remove that page from its list. That’s its ‘self-protection method’.

‘Hey’ it says to itself, ‘someone is trying to cheat me here’ and it brings out its self-protection mechanism. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see an image of normal behavior)

You see, it’s better for everyone if the top one hundred list is genuine – if it truly is the top visited pages on the site. The system, which is only a bit of computer programming, can tell:

  • Where the visitor is from geographically
  • How many times that visitor has been there before
  • Whether visitors are clicking on the ‘you might also like’ feature (because nine times out of ten real people do)
  • How often they are visiting the page
  • How they are getting to the page (for example, which link they are clicking on or which search engine they are using)
So you can imagine it saying to itself ‘hang on a minute. This person has just clicked onto this page twenty five times in the space of just a few minutes. They haven’t clicked on any related links. They haven’t clicked on any other pages. That’s weird. That’s not right. I can’t stop them clicking but I can reset the counters to zero so we can start over and get an accurate reading of where people are going’.
So it does that and sees that the same person is still repeatedly clicking on the link. So it thinks for a while and comes up with ‘Well, I’m only a little bit of programming and I can’t do anything about stopping this person. And I can’t reset the figures every two minutes. What can I do? I know, I’ll take that page down for a little while. I have the power….’
And that’s what the evil little thing decides to do. But it means well, honestly :)
The reason I’m writing this today is that the system removed a page yesterday. This was because a well-meaning friend of a Team Las Olas member thought they were helping out by repeatedly clicking and keeping their friend’s article at the top of the list. I can understand that but in fact, the result was that the system went into self-protection mode. It only has one job to do – accurately show where people are going on the website. So it decided to reset and remove the page temporarily so things could get back to normal.
Luckily, the little blighter records where people are geographically so the team member was able to tell their friend that
If this makes no sense at all, or if you’d like to know more, get in touch!

 

Posted by Team Las Olas in : Rants,

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