Wikipedia:Pageview statistics

Pageviews for the USS Gyatt[further explanation needed]

Page view statistics (or Pageview stats) is a tool for Wikipedia pages which shows how many people have visited an article in a given time period. Like the search engine tests, it has some limitations. Before using such statistics in a discussion about the page, several things must be considered. There are software limitations (or, more exactly, conclusions that may not be taken from the provided data) and circumstances that may influence them, both from inside and outside Wikipedia. Typically, the item which ranks first in the Wikipedia Page View Statistics is Special:Export/SynchronizationStartTime:. However, the article which would actually qualify as an article in the English Wikipedia, which typically has the highest page view statistics, is the Main Page of Wikipedia.

Page View Tool

It refers to the number of times a particular page has been requested. Using toolforge:pageviews, it is possible to see statistics on how often Wikipedia pages have been viewed during various times. These figures do not reflect the number of unique visitors a page has received.[1]

The pageview stats tool is available from any page, in two ways: 1) Click "Page information" under "Tools" in the sidebar and then "Page view statistics" at the bottom. 2) Click the history tab and then "Pageviews" near the top. User:PrimeHunter/Pageviews.js adds a link directly under "Tools" for registered users.

Page stats can help determine how popular a page is, but are not an indication of a topic's notability. Wikipedia's inclusion guidelines are based on coverage found in reliable sources. If a page's stats are low, it is not a reason to consider it for deletion, and if high it is not a reason to save it from deletion.

Accuracy of the tools edit

Pageviews analysis edit

The present tool for pageview analysis can be found at toolforge:pageviews, or via external link here.

  • It only includes data back to July 1, 2015. Older data is available agreggated per project in the new wikistats:
  • Pageview stats for the previous day will usually be available by 5 a.m. UTC, although this varies considerably depending on how long it takes to clean the data.
  • In order to get an accurate reading of stats for a page, you must enter the page's actual title in the correct case in which it appears, not a redirect or shortcut to the page. However, you can see how often a targeted redirect to a section of a page or a shortcut to a project or Help page (or a section thereof) is used by entering the shortcut.
  • The statistics do not consider how long people have stayed at the article. Whether they load the article and read from beginning to end, or if they leave it in seconds, it will count as one view.
  • In some rare cases the pageviews might have been purposely manipulated by the use of scripts or malware. Detection of such manipulations can vary in difficulty depending on the methods used.

Wikistats2 edit

Pageview statistics are available agreggated per project and per project per country. Please see:

WikiShark Trends (successor of from edit

The older tool is no longer updated and has a message directing users to, seemingly the successor.

  • This tool will work even for a non-existent page. So if there is a subject well-known to everyone (such as from a current event) but no article has been created (which is often justified per WP:NOTNEWS and various other guidelines), if you enter that subject's name, there is a good chance there will be at least some views in absence of an actual article.
  • An occasional glitch will result in no results being recorded on certain days. This does not mean the page was not read at all. It just means the results cannot be determined for that day. Note also that, as of July 2012, the rankings "The article ranked <n> on <site>" may be for a different period from the number of hits.

What factors can increase a page's viewing? edit

There are many factors that affect the popularity of a page. These include:

  • General popularity: A subject well known to most people will probably get more views than one that is naturally more obscure. For example, an article about a head of state is likely to get more views than one about the mayor of a small town. An article about a star athlete is likely to get more views than one about a minor league athlete. An article about a musician with one of the top hit songs in the country is likely to get more views than that of a local street performer.
  • Current events: The subject of or related to a current event will likely get many more views during the time when it receives media coverage rather than the time when it is little discussed by the public. This sometimes explains spikes in statistics during periods of time when such an event is taking place. For example, most Olympic athletes will get many more views during the Olympics than at other times. Articles on topics pertaining to a particular holiday may get more hits around the time of year that holiday takes place. This is also true for non-holiday historical events, such as major disasters or military engagements. And during an election year, anything somehow related to that election may be read more than at other times.
Even without a fixed schedule, a subject with an already existing article on a subject that previously laid low but has been thrust into the spotlight by a sudden, unexpected event may get readership spikes from the amount of media coverage that may continue as long as the news does or even for a long period of time thereafter. For example, Costa Concordia had an article dating back to 2006, but its readership greatly grew on January 13, 2012, the date that its sinking became front page international news. The article had been receiving around 1000 hits a month, but got more than 1,000,000 hits in January 2012.
  • Incoming links from other Wikipedia pages. A page is more likely to get viewed when other Wikipedia pages link to it. These include links found in the text itself, in a see also section, or in navigational templates. Readership may fluctuate as other articles are edited, and links to the page are increased or reduced. A presence on the main page can also dramatically increase readership for a short period of time.

Relationship to numbers of edits edit

Increased readership has the potential to increase editing. But having a high level of pageviews does not necessarily mean the page will receive more editing, while having a lower level does not necessarily mean it will receive less editing.

If a page you created or contributed to is receiving little or no editing, it is nothing to take personally.

A page may be read a lot, but receive little or no editing for a long time simply because no one feels any editing is needed during that time. Some topics are of interest to many to read, but few have the expertise to write about them. Protected and semi-protected pages get less editing while they are protected because fewer people are able to edit them. Some pages may simply be "complete" and not need any editing at the time.

Influence edit

Influences within Wikipedia edit

  • The most influential thing is, of course, the main page. Articles listed on the main page are sure to increase their page views. However, this does not apply only to the most prominent item of the blurb, but also to links in them which are not self-evident. As the selection process is tied to the emboldened article, it may be difficult to notice later that an article was linked this way at the main page.
  • Of course, an article being edited or expanded has more views than an abandoned article, especially if there is a wikiproject or team of editors working together on it. Article nominations (to an award) increase the number of views, both from the actual reviewers and from those who considered making a review but gave up before saying anything.
  • There are maintenance activities that do not impact on the article directly, but may need people to edit it, such as some activities related to categories, files or templates. Sometimes bots can help, but in cases involving few articles, or which need a human to do it correctly (such as correcting spelling mistakes), a user will view a number of articles and make minor edits in them.
  • When a vandal vandalizes, and a user notices and reverts, that makes two views to the article. Even moreso if it is a highly watched article, and many people notice the vandalism at the same time.

Influences from outside Wikipedia edit

  • As expected, all topics which are in the news are likely to get more visits.
  • Wikipedia has a policy of naming the articles under the most common name. This means that when multiple topics share a name, the basic name is used for the most mentioned one. Most of the time, this works without a problem. However, a potential problem arises when a topic is in the news and gets a burst of interest from the public, but is likely to fade away after some time. In these cases, Wikipedia aims for stability, so people may seek the topic in the news and find the general topic instead. For example, imagine that some former members of Nirvana (band) decide to reunite, but with a new vocalist, and produce new songs and go on international tours. There will be a huge number of people seeking the "Nirvana" article, but that does not mean that there is a rise in the interest in Indian philosophy.

See also edit

References edit

External Link edit