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On a couple of the Stack Exchange network sites in which I regularly participate, there will frequently be a new question (less than an hour old) with views reaching 1k, 2k, or even more. Normally there would be only a handful of views - say 10 to 15.

Is someone gaming the system or are some questions actually showing up in a Google search and magically receiving a lot of interest? I do not believe an arcane question in English Language Learners would generate that kind of interest.

I can't believe that there is any kind of bug in the view count system.

Apparently the answer to this question is that some questions "get hot" and in another question there is much discussion about how "hotness" is determined.

This is simply a question about the apparent effects of that hotness (where do the views come from), not a question about the complex thermodynamics of stack exchange questions.

Two days later:

Today I had a not especially wildly interesting question "arbitrarily" or "randomly" (take your pick) showed up on the list of hot questions. Lots of views, but few, if any, stray up votes for the question. Still, what a rush! And I wasn't late for the party.

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    I'd be interested in an example. – Carrie Kendall Jul 13 '15 at 22:33
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    Probably hot network questions. Here's a recent one from that site ell.stackexchange.com/questions/61701/… – Martin Smith Jul 13 '15 at 22:41
  • This has been around for 14 hours, not the one hour I mentioned, but it still stands out for a high view count (ell.stackexchange.com/questions/61701/…) – Ast Pace Jul 13 '15 at 22:44
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    Can you link us the question that got 1k views in 1 hour? That's extremely rare. While it's not uncommon for something to get 1k views in 1 hour, it's rare for it to happen during the first hour. It usually takes time for stuff to get traction on Reddit or Hacker News. – Mysticial Jul 13 '15 at 22:47
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    Just google the question title with quotes around it. You'll find hits to SO, superuser, serverfault, askubuntu, etcetera. In other words, the Hot Question List. – Uphill Luge Jul 13 '15 at 22:48
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    We get this on The Great Outdoors all the time. the difference between 17 views and 8K views is the hot network questions. It's a good way for us to grow our site. We'd like to get more on the side bar if we could TBH... – Liam Jul 15 '15 at 14:39
  • Visit Aviation for hot view counts! – anshabhi Jul 15 '15 at 17:50
  • related: What is the Goal of “Hot Network Questions”? – gnat Jul 15 '15 at 23:07
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The one you picked out is currently on the hot network questions list shown in rotation on the side bar on all sites.

So it is expected that this will garner more traffic than the norm.

  • Good point, I'll check that list next time I see inexplicable 1k or 2k views. – Ast Pace Jul 13 '15 at 22:49
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    @ASTPace Won't help you much if you are too late for the party. Another tip, check the revision-history whether the question was publicized over twitter or suchlike. – Deduplicator Jul 13 '15 at 23:23
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    @Deduplicator You have correctly surmised that I am the kind of person who is late for the party, frequently bearing no gift. – Ast Pace Jul 14 '15 at 1:47
  • Also many times questions are shared via sites like reddit, causing lots of traffic, and it's not recorded anywhere in Stack Exchange. – ShaWiz Jul 17 '15 at 5:01

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