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This thread discusses the mechanism for choosing related questions at a high level. I'm wondering how those questions are then displayed on the RHS. Just going through a few examples by hand, it's definitely not by vote score, and it doesn't seem to be in order of relatedness. The API mentions a "rank", but every example I've looked up has had the related questions ordered simply by question ID (ascending). Can anyone confirm or deny this?

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As Joel explains here, Elasticsearch is being used to give the results.

So the order is most likely by Relevance, same way search results are ordered.

When searching for something, the default sort is "relevance":

relevance sort for search results

Each search result then have a relevance score, generated by Elasticsearch. It's hidden in the markup, for example the first result in above search has score of 205.0617 and the second has a score of 93.1004, etc.

In the related questions list I couldn't find the score, but pretty sure the sort is by that score behind the scenes.

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    Hmm, not sure I would assume that the related questions ordering would follow the same logic as the search results ordering, though I agree that relevance makes sense. However isn't it odd that every single question's related question list is ascending by question ID? Surely it can't be that questions posted earlier are always more relevant than later ones...
    – rebz
    Jun 22 '18 at 21:15
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    @rebz good point about question ID! Missed that, and it might as well be the sort method. I'm afraid only SE developer can say for sure, and sometimes it take years, if at all, until they give answer. Jun 22 '18 at 21:35

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