Our homepage is dynamically populated and ordered based on the popularity of our content, meaning that the more popular content will feature higher on the page, regardless of its age.
We’ve done this for several reasons:
There are some problems with this approach, of course. Firstly, how do you get new content in front of people if old content, purely through its age, will be ‘more popular’ and thus higher up the list?
Secondly, How do you ensure that old content that was popular doesn’t dominate the homepage long after it’s ceased to be relevant?
This is where it gets interesting to us, because it means we have to put an algorithm in place. In this case, quite a simple one…but it’s still fun to play around.
Every time a page or post is visited on our site, it is given a hit count which is then turned into points, and the posts with the most points come first…but there are rules:
This approach ensures that every new bit of content gets a chance to be seen, and that the older a post gets, the harder it will have to work to remain popular. Those which are perpetually popular will remain so simply through virtue of generating more points than they have removed, and those which fall out of favour will naturally start to fall down the rankings.
We must say, this is a total work in progress, and we’ll be monitoring the movement of our content, and tweaking the algorithm, to ensure that things do actually work as we expect them to. We’ll blog about it when we start to see results 🙂
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