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How does Stack Overflow calculate the number of views in a question?

How are question view counts calculated with respect to users that are logged in or anonymous?

I ask because sometimes when I ask a question on Stack Overflow, I really need to know the answer so I keep checking back on the site somewhat obsessive-compulsively.

I'm logged in every time, so does every time I go back count as a new view? Or only if some sort cookie has expired in my browser? Or once my user id views it, can I not create any more views?

I'm not trying to artificially inflate my views - I couldn't care less. I just want to know why I'm not getting an answer - is it because plenty of people are looking but nobody knows, or is it because nobody is even looking?


From the glossary:


The number of unique visitors to a question or user profile.

So, I guess only your first visit counts.

  • 1
    So the asker’s automated view (which occurs right after posting) counts then? – Synetech Mar 2 '10 at 17:31
  • I don't think visitor IP addresses are stored forever for each page though - that would be a huge list to keep in the DB. – Ether Mar 2 '10 at 17:52
  • Every time I ask a question, it initially says 0 views, even if I reload several times. Hence my uncertainty. – David Boike Mar 2 '10 at 20:45
  • 6
    I know you can give a question multiple views. to see this, pick an old question of yours, go visit, and watch the viewcount bump by one the first time (but not the 2nd). – Joel Coehoorn Mar 2 '10 at 21:30

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