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First, I apologize for coming here. I spent two hours this evening in tour and help and got nowhere, and I do not otherwise know where to go in SU / Stack Exchange for help.

My question is simple. What is People Reached? What does it mean? How is it calculated. Why should I care?

Thank you for any assistance you may be able to provide.

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What is People Reached?

It is not Profile Views, as you might imagine Profile views is the number of people that have visited your profile page.

People Reached is the approximate number of people that your posts have been seen by. (Although that's a very loose interpretation. There is more info on that here: "We're working on a new stat to help convey the reach of your posts here").

Source Difference between Profile Views and People reached - Meta Stack Exchange

How is it calculated?

Ultimately we reduced our criteria to:

Views of pages where your helpful posts had some decent probability of being seen.

That doesn't mean we know the visitor scrolled to your post, or that your answer helped them - we simply don't track that. But we should be able to estimate the likelihood of a given question or answer been seen as useful by viewers without enabling the 25th answer on an insanely popular post to get a lucky up-vote and credit all the views to the new author.

That's how we got to the current method, which counts views on the following:

  • Questions
  • Non-deleted only
  • Answers - Views of the parent question for answers that are:
  • Non-deleted AND
  • Score > 0 AND
  • Also meets one or more of the following criteria:
  • In the top 3 answers OR
  • Is the Accepted Answer OR
  • Score at least 5 OR
  • Has at least 20% of the total vote count

(Note on closed questions: we originally were excluding closed questions, too, but it seemed to cause more harm than good: the ones that never should have been here almost all get closed before attracting many views, so including them very rarely matters. But the ones that are closed with a ton of views almost all were permissible back in the day, so having the score plummet when the rules evolve seemed more harm than the alternative, since the impact is so small there.)

Source We're working on a new stat to help convey the reach of your posts here - Meta Stack Exchange

Why should I care?

It tells you how helpful your contributions are to other users. Whether you care about that is up to you.

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  • Thank you for your very detailed answer and for the links to the Meta work-in-progress about this particular issue. – John Apr 26 at 10:59

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