According to the tooltip and to How are the FAQ questions chosen?, FAQ questions are "questions with the most links". But what is the exact formula that lets a question qualify as "FAQ"?

Background: At TeX.SE, right now 49% of all questions (11,300 out of 23,200) are listed as FAQ, which seems somewhat excessive (but then, maybe we TeX.SE users go overboard with adding links). At SO, the ratio is 22% (751,000 out of 3,493,000), which seems about right.


It appears it picks all questions that have been linked to within other questions/answers/comments on the site and puts them in that list in order of link count (and then in order of votes, it seems). You can easily test that the last items in the list on any given site all have one link each, so one-link questions are clearly included.

I wouldn't read much into it beyond the following possibilities:

  • Lots of stuff falls through the cracks in SO and isn't linked
  • Lots of stuff on SO isn't relevant enough to other questions to be linked (or more stuff on TeX is relevant to other stuff)
  • TeX has a tendancy to link other questions more frequently

Bottom line: the actual number of FAQ entries isn't important, nor is the percent of questions that end up as FAQs; the important thing is that the most common questions (or most commonly relevant/mentioned questions) float to the top of that list, which they do.

  • Dang -- I had imagined a somewhat more complicated formula. ;-) I'll wait a bit for an "official" answer before accepting your one. – lockstep Aug 8 '12 at 18:17
  • The TeX.SE FAQ questions do indeed seem to follow your revised pattern (link count, then votes). Accepted. – lockstep Aug 8 '12 at 18:33

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