Quantity vs Quality in the Views counterDeveloper
Several users have noticed the Views figures for their apps jumping around, mostly downward, and have been understandably concerned: Where’s the data going? Are we losing log records? Did those visits never happen?
Don’t worry: Our logs are safe, and so is your data. We’re just making some changes to how those numbers are calculated so as to make them more useful.
As you can see by Alexei’s many entries in the blog recently, we’ve been doing a lot of work on Ning in the past couple of weeks – adding major new features and a whole load of minor tweaks. Some of those tweaks are in the methods of calculating page views. We want those view counts to represent page views made by people browsing your site, not web crawlers (such as Google’s indexer) or other automated systems.
This way, the page view count is a more accurate representation of an app’s popularity. A couple of days ago we took the first major steps to discounting web crawler page views, which is why the counts took a major dip. (Don’t worry, we’re still letting Google crawl apps – we’re just taking less note of what their crawler does.)
There are also other factors that sometimes cause the Views and Users counters to behave oddly for a short period of time, often right after some maintenance work while the figures are being recalculated. Wait a few minutes and reload, and you’ll see the numbers fixed.
As we continue improving and tweaking the system, we’ll continue to tweak our stats measurement. This may sometimes result in the Views figures being reduced. The important thing to remember is that with each tweak that removes views that shouldn’t be counted, the Views count becomes more accurate.