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So I was on another website (reddit.com) recently and someone had asked a programming question in one of the forums there. I quickly found an answer on this site (stackoverflow.com) and posted a link to the question as a reply.

A couple of hours later I logged-in to stackoverflow again and was notified that I had received the 'Announcer' badge. The 'Announcer' badge basically says that if you post a link on another website and it is viewed 25 times you get the badge.

My question is: How did Stackoverflow know that I posted the link on another website and how did it link the 25 clicks by other users to me?

  • It's a sekrit and on a need to know basis. :P Kidding aside, I've wondered this as well. – Anil Natha Jan 9 '14 at 17:21
  • Can't close as a duplicate of the blog, but Announcer, Booster, and Publicist Badges should answer your question. Some of the specific details have changed, but the process is the same. – psubsee2003 Jan 9 '14 at 17:23
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The "share" link at the bottom of a post gives you a personalized URL. For example, mine for your question is http://meta.stackexchange.com/q/215549/162102, but yours would have a different final number. That number is the user number.

Since the URLs are unique, the server can log them separately. Note that you won't get an Announcer badge for using the main URL of a page (like http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/215549/announcer-badge-how-does-it-know-i-posted-the-link) no matter how many people click on it.

See also: blog post (the badge criteria have changed since then, but this is mostly still applicable).

  • I know from conversations here and in chat that concerns about backticks are a thing on SO, but I'm not there and don't know what the issue is. If I should have formatted those URLs some other way (to prevent prettification), please accept my apology and feel free to edit. – Monica Cellio Jan 9 '14 at 17:26
  • Really? The way you've formatted the URLs is the way I would have – Richard Tingle Jan 9 '14 at 17:30
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    Ahh! I think people object to them being used to emphasise important words, but a URL is a kind of code so I think backticks are very appropriate – Richard Tingle Jan 9 '14 at 17:40
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    Newer users on a number of SE sites have a bad habit of using code formatting where they ought to be using italic or bold. Use of backticks to encode an example URL is correct and well within site norms. – Jonathan Garber Jan 9 '14 at 17:41
  • The Badge says "if you post a link on another website". Does this mean that if you would link your share url instead of http://meta.stackexchange.com/q/215549/208802 it. It wouldn't count as a view when opened from this site? – C5H8NNaO4 Jan 9 '14 at 23:42
  • Links from within the Stack Exchange network don't count (including cross-site links). – Monica Cellio Jan 10 '14 at 2:13
  • Can a user somehow know location of the link which he/she presumably shared? For example, I don't remember where and when I posted links to SO questions (oops, found similar question here). – Stan Jun 20 '17 at 21:01
  • @Stan no, SE can't tell you what the referrer URLs were. You'll need to either apply Google to the problem or live with the mystery. – Monica Cellio Jun 20 '17 at 21:11
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The share link embeds your userID in the link, for example if I share this post I get this link

http://meta.stackexchange.com/q/215549/220332

My userID is 220332 which you can see in the link

Only the share button gives you links that will count towards those badges

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