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When browsing questions in StackOverflow with a particular tag, and viewing on the Newest tab, on the top-right, there's the total number of questions with that tag. Refer to such a link:

At least this is where I found this issue. At one moment, it read 19,384 questions tagged. Then, at the top, the alert appeared 1 question with new activity. I did a full refresh of the page, but then the total number was 19,386. That doesn't add up. Where'd that extra one come from?

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Caching. It's always caching. – Oded Mar 7 '13 at 14:26
Another question was asked in the time you refreshed? There is caching involved, and who says the notifications are instant? – Martijn Pieters Mar 7 '13 at 14:26
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This is due to caching. StackOverflow caches the majority of the pages you see, so everything's bound be be a little out of sync of real time. Additionally, the 1 question with new activity notification isn't instant. It usually turns up 30 seconds to a minute after the question is actually asked.

Additionally, there are cases when you'll see the total number actually going down even though new questions are asked. This is because some of the previously asked questions have been retagged or deleted, thus no longer being counted in the tag total.

Between a combination of the above two points, you're highly likely to get an outdated tag count.

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