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Friday, July 03, 2015

A Deleted Post Affects The Popular Posts Display

Some blog owners report various discrepancies, and oddities, with Stats and its various components.

A few owners find that the Popular Posts gadget, that supposedly will display any selected number (1 - 10) of the most popular posts for a blog during a given time period, is sometimes short the number selected.

With only 6 posts displayed out of 8 posts selected, it is possible that the desired 8 posts may be displayed - if 10 posts are selected, and the display is refreshed. On the other hand, with only 9 posts displayed out of 10 posts selected, it's not possible to increase the selection to 11, to compensate for the "missing" post.

The gadget display discrepancy appears to involved a popular post having been removed from active status, during the time period selected.


I am displaying 10 posts, for this blog, right now - though my selection is subject to change.
The Popular Posts display is generated in several steps.
  • The pageviews are sorted and totaled, for the time period ("Most viewed") selected.
    • All time
    • Last 30 days
    • Last 7 days
  • The pageview counts for the desired number of posts ("Show") are extracted (1 - 10), and the display is formatted.
  • As the display is being formatted, any non existent posts are discovered, and not displayed.
  • With the gadget formatted, the display will contain the selected number, less any non existent posts not displayed.

It's better to display a short list, all active posts - than a complete list, mixed.

It's apparently better to display a short list comparing only posts online when the gadget is displayed, then to display a complete list with one or more posts being incorrectly sequenced because they were not online when the gadget is displayed.

Stats dashboard displays have their own oddities. This is yet one more reason why Stats gadgets should be viewed on their own contexts.

If you sometimes delete a popular post, and your Popular Posts gadget later shows a short display, you now know why.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Lily Seymour said...

That blogger widget sucks, they need to upgrade and give us the opportunity to show up to 20 post if we choose, it would help out numbers increase. I'm using a widget that I can input any number but it will only display the blogs by recent entries not ramdom, but hey it's still better than blogger's outdated widget!

Chuck Croll said...

Hi Lily,

Thanks for your comment, and for your Following.

I'm looking at both of your blogs - and I see a total of 3 Popular Posts gadgets, and only 10 entries in each gadget. So maybe you discovered limitations in this mystical gadget, that's better than Popular Posts?

The point is that everything has limitations. You do what you can, with what you get. Increasing the Popular Posts display length isn't just a matter of turning a dial to "20" instead of "10".

I saw a study somewhere that suggested that "5" would be better than "10" - for the reader anyway. MHO, the "sidebar" is too long on many blogs, as they are. My blog is one example.

But Stats, and "Popular Posts" are designed around "10", for providing information to the blog owner, so most people stick with that.