There are several different configuration settings for the Popularity Contest plugin. To view these options, from within your Dashboard, go to Settings > Popularity.
This group of settings are general settings that provide a few basic filters / features.
- Ignore views by site authors: default = Yes
- This discounts views that are made by members of the site, which makes sense. You already know that your contributors will be visiting the site. By leaving this value set at Yes, you will receive a more accurate representation of popularity within the general audience.
- Show popularity rank for posts: default = Yes
- This provides the display of the footer popularity ranking on your posts.
- Show the [?] help link: default = Yes
- This provides links to help documentation
- Search Engine Domains: default = google.com, yahoo.com, bing.com
- This helps the plugin filter search engine bots which is good in two ways: it helps show you what search engines are crawling your content and it also helps report on bot activity versus human activity.
The Popularity Values take all of the different view types that can be associated with your content and performs an aggregated calculation. This provides a way of weighting the results accordingly. For example, Permalink Views from Search Engines should not carry the same amount of weight as Permalink Views from human visitors. This is because the search engine bots crawl your content automatically whereas human views are actual people who are visiting your site, which is really a more accurate representation of how popular your content really is.
There are several different values that can be weighted differently:
- Permalink Views
- Permalink Views from Search Engines
- Home Views
- Archive Views
- Category Views
- Tag Views
- Feed Views
When a value is set for these items, it is then multipled against the actual number of visits your content has received and then the total of all different views is summed together – this is what provides the ranking.
The default numbers provided should serve as a good start, but you can adjust all of them, if desired.