One of my old questions is a bit of a search magnet. It just earned the "Popular Question" badge for 1000 views, but neither the question nor its answers are earning any votes. In fact, almost all of the upvotes are my own.

To me, this indicates that the general subject matter of the question is of interest, but my particular problem and the subsequent solution are not. I am concerned that the question presents a significant obstacle to people who are searching for different information on the same topic.

I'm tempted to delete the question. Is this the right approach? Do we have a standard way of handling similar situations?

4 Answers 4


No, do not delete it! The policy is: Never delete useful questions!

You accepted an answer, so I guess, it helped you. Do you know, how many of these people find that also useful? Most of them are drive-by users, who probably cannot upvote the answers, even if they know, that it is possible.

SO is an encyclopedia. Don't delete its records. If your question is an obstacle for some people, they should try another key word.


Don't delete it.

It could be that many of the viewers are new users who can't upvote yet, but more than that if the question is generating views there is still the potential for it to be extra useful.

If you're concerned about it, what you can do is take a good look at your question, especially the title. Then think about what related problems might have similar keywords that would drive visitors to the page. Now you can think about how to answer those problems, and finally compose an answer that addresses them. Build up this answer over a few days as you continue to do your research so that the question will be bumped a few times on the "Active Questions" view and your new answer can garner a few upvotes as well.

This not only earns you rep (well-deserved for the extra work going on here), but also drives the new answer up the list for all these late viewers you're drawing. That's a win for everyone.

Additionally, one of the nice things about Stack Overflow is that if you're not interested in doing this work yourself, someone else still can. In fact, I just wrote a SEDE query to show me questions with > 1000 views sorted by total score per view. This shows us which questions are most in need of this attention.

Update 2 -- new query:

  • 3
    I really like this idea. I'll see what I can dig up. It would be nice to have an Amazon-like tracking system: "People who viewed this page eventually upvoted: ..." :)
    – e.James
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 21:48

Let it be.

That question is non-destructive and possessed of some small amount of positive value. The best thing you could do for it is to find a really definitive answer and post that. That way the popularity of the search terms brings people to a good answer and the question deserves to be popular.


You could put a bounty on it and see if it draws in any new answers, or invigorates the existing answerers to make further updates.

Chances are though that people are hitting the question, then discovering the answer is a specific issue with RapidQ and it doesn't apply to them.

  • That's exactly it. The answer was useful to me, but it was a very narrow topic. I would just prefer not to get in the way of a thousand other searches. The bounty idea is worth considering. Thank you!
    – e.James
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 20:12
  • 1
    I'm no SEO expert, but changing the question title may help. Such as changing 'Windows API' to 'RapidQ'
    – PaulG
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 20:15
  • I like that idea. Easy enough to try.
    – e.James
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 20:16

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