Hits Per Day … Better Ranking?

I promised awhile ago that I’d revamp the Worldmaps ranking system – classically, Worldmap Rank was always based off of total hits.  While this rewarded longer-term usage, it made newcomers have virtually no chance of catching up and competing unless they owned a high volume site.  The other problem with total hits was “rank parking” – that is, a website hits with a lot of volume, then either stops using the service, or pings it infrequently.  

There are two phases in coming up with a better rank – one is deciding what would be ideal, and the other is deciding if the technical implementation is feasible given the constraints of the current system.  (Worldmaps doesn’t store each hit like a log file, for example, so data is aggregated to extrapolate various metrics that you see on the stats pages.) 

The first go around was to do hits per day.  This metric (as you can see below) is nice because suddenly, even day 1 users are in the competition:

hitsperday

It makes things more interesting. 

The problem with using both Total Hits and Hits Per Day is that neither is necessarily that compelling of a metric.  (For those that have done web analytics in the past, you know that total website hits is hardly meaningful.)  There’s nothing to stop someone from putting 100 image tags on their site, for example, so 1 hit registers as 100.  (Though, that’s against the TOS.  I think.  If not it will be! :))

The problem with Hits Per Day is that the value is averaged out.  Suppose you have a site where your volume over a period of 4 months increases substantially.  If all you cared about was rank, you’d be better suited to delete and recreate the map account to get ranking higher. 

Then I thought about World Domination.  Let’s face it, it’s the coolest stat Worldmaps has.  But, is it the right one to use to determine rank?   I’m not so sure. 

The only other solution is a compound metric … such as World Domination * Hits Per Day or something similar – that would still give the edge to traffic, but reaching out globally would impact that perhaps significantly.   (A compound stat is a bit harder, given the schema, to work in.)

Any suggestions?

Comments (4) -

G. Andrew Duthie
G. Andrew Duthie
3/23/2009 11:20:02 AM #

Is there a reason you couldn't allow the end user to sort the leaderboard by any of the above stats (total hits, hits/day, or World Domination)? That would keep just about everyone happy, and give everyone an opportunity to be a winner in the stats. Smile

bhitney
bhitney
3/23/2009 11:24:44 AM #

Good point ... actually that is on the to do list -- but if Rank is put on the map itself (ie, Worldmap Rank: #6) then there needs to be "one metric" ... unless you think we should kill that?

G. Andrew Duthie
G. Andrew Duthie
3/23/2009 11:27:14 AM #

You could just use total hits as the overall rank, or choose one of the stats to represent the overall rank that shows up on the map.

Or, you could provide alternate maps, one with overall rank, one with hits/day, and one with World Domination Rank.

bhitney
bhitney
3/24/2009 12:23:26 PM #

I like the last suggestion (different maps) but would need to scale out to do that.  

I think I finally settled on what I'll do: average hits/day over the past x number of months (thinking 3 is a good number).  That way, highest volume sites will still tend to float to the top, new comers can still get in the top spots, and traffic swings over a long period of time are diminished.  

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