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Ask HN: HN popular algorithm
11 points by xoail on Nov 5, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 2 comments
Do you know or can figure out the algorithm HN uses to put posts on frontpage? It looks like a secret sauce between number of votes + comments + (YC company related)!important; but I am curious to know the closest real answer. Any ideas?

According to the link in dmgrow's comment, it's

    Score = (P-1) / (T+2)^G
where P is the number of votes, T is the time in hours since submission, and G is a power that controls the steepness/rate of decline in ranking, so popularity is decreases exponentially over time.

I'm sure that YC-affiliated posts have a different ranking algorithm, considering you can't vote on them.

Some other cool algorithms are:

del.icio.us / delicious.com 's: ranked by upvotes in the last hour. I like the elegance of this solution a lot :)

reddit's "best" feature: compares the rates at which comments are upvoted to generate the probability that a comment is a good one, which is how posts with fewer votes can be ranked better than posts with more votes. It works well, in my opinion.

You can find some posts and related information here:


There was a post back in 2010 with the formula which PG verified. It's probably changed slightly but not substantially since.

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