I was looking at my Impact rating on Arqade earlier, and I noticed that it had reached 945K. Excited, I waited a few hours to see if it was climbing at a steady rate, only to find it had gone back down to 944K.

I don't have a screenshot to prove this, but I'm almost certain that it was 945K earlier. I know this is a new metric for SE, but is it possible for it to go down over time? It says it's based on upvotes and question views, but neither of those went down between the time I saw the 945K and the time it went back to 944k.

  • Was a post deleted somewhere?
    – HDE 226868
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 20:41
  • @HDE226868 Wouldn't I receive a notification if that happened? And I didn't notice any change in my rep that would've corresponded with it, so even if I wouldn't receive a notification, I don't think that's it.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 20:43
  • I was just throwing a guess out there; I guess that wasn't it.
    – HDE 226868
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 20:44
  • 3
    No notification for deleted posts, and if you have score of 3+ on a post deleted after 60+ days you keep the reputation even when the post is deleted. But the views count used for "impact" does go down, as far as I can tell. Commented May 27, 2015 at 21:02
  • The only reason I could imagine would be that a significant number of the "people you reached" have died. Commented May 28, 2015 at 6:28
  • The rounding changes from meta.stackexchange.com/questions/256838/… could be responsable. Commented May 28, 2015 at 6:42
  • @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Indeed. I didn't see either of those in the related or suggested questions, since they didn't refer to it by the "Impact" name.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 11:36
  • 1
    @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Already did. :) They're good questions, I just didn't see them before making this one.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 11:38
  • @Zibbobz Nice :) I've edited the other questions as well. (and +1) ;) Commented May 28, 2015 at 11:43
  • @ShadowWizard look at the above comments^^ is it worth adding an 'impact' synonym? Commented May 28, 2015 at 11:45
  • @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ synonym might fit, but not having both, since "people reached" is what everyone see on a different user profile. "Impact" is shown only when viewing own profile, so IMO less impact. :) Commented May 28, 2015 at 12:43
  • @ShadowWizard I disagree, because people are more likely to be curious why their own Impact has changed, and less curious why someone else's "people reached" has changed. But either one works, as long as there's no confusion over the two different ways of saying it.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 12:56
  • @ShadowWizard I've edited the tag wiki anyway now :) Commented May 28, 2015 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


A questions view count only contributes for an answer if it meets the following criteria:

  • In the top 3 answers OR
  • Is the Accepted Answer OR
  • Score >5 OR
  • Has at least 20% of the total vote count

A question can meet these criteria, and then stop meeting them later. That can even happen without losing any votes if:

  • Other answers get upvoted above yours, making yours no longer in the top three
  • Lose an acceptance
  • Enough votes on other answers puts it below 20% of the vote count

Deletion would of course also result in losing the views from that question, not sure if you count that as losing upvotes or not, I would assume so.

  • Didn't notice any change in my score, so losing an accepted answer doesn't seem likely, but the other two are possible, as is someone's account getting deleted.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 20:45
  • Like Zibbotz, I also just noticed a big change: Last week my impact on stats.SE was "~1.7m". This week it's "~1.6m". While the explanation here could maybe explain the loss of say a few hundred impact, my Impact number (I recently watched it via data.SE for about 5 weeks, and it was pretty stable) currently goes up an average of about 35K per week (5K per day), so it would have to explain not just the loss of a few views but the loss of something like 35000. I don't see how anything in this answer could explain that kind of change. Surely the calculation has altered in some way.
    – Glen_b
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 23:42
  • @Glen_b How does it not explain it? You post an answer to a highly viewed question, that question attracts other, better, answers, so it stops counting for you. View counts on questions tend to scale exponentially; the vast majority of your "impact' is from very few posts, and if those stop counting, you can easily lose a lot.
    – Servy
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 0:37
  • For starters, the data.SE "people helped prototype" query that I mentioned has been going up about 35K per week (and uses those calculations you outline) still went up from last week to this week -- only about 30,000 this time, but it still up [the numbers seem to have been a bit different than the displayed impact figure, but the movements have been pretty consistent]. If any such huge change in my actual figures on the above calculations had happened, it should be reflected in both. I suspect that the figure displayed under impact has altered in some way (probably not affecting most people)
    – Glen_b
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 0:57
  • The query is mentioned here
    – Glen_b
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 1:00

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