I asked many questions, but one of them ("in this regard" vs. "in this respect") by far has the most views with 18K viewers. The next one has just 2K viewers.

That question seems not such an important question, and even no body gave an up-vote to it. I would like to know what is about this title, which attracts so many views? Are there a similar important question in English with such a title? Any idea?

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    It may be that a lot of people search for the difference between those two phrases. – ColleenV Sep 17 '16 at 16:25
  • @ColleenV as I remember, the answer says there is no significant difference between them. Is there? if no I wonder why so many people are looking for such a difference. – Ahmad Sep 17 '16 at 16:27
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    Because people don't know that there is no difference, just like you didn't when you asked the question? – ColleenV Sep 17 '16 at 16:31
  • @colleenv as I remember their difference wasn't much of my concern. But I didn't know the usage of either, specialy "in this regard". I guess many other also don't know when and how to use it. – Ahmad Sep 17 '16 at 17:13
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    @colleenv but interestingly its votes isn't proportional to its viewes. – Ahmad Sep 17 '16 at 17:17
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    Why would you expect views to be proportional with votes? I think the views are incremented even if the person doesn't have an account on the site or doesn't have enough reputation to vote. – ColleenV Sep 17 '16 at 17:29
  • @ColleenV sure but such high views shows it's a common question and usually receive attention by members (many of them may find it via Google ), unless after finding it they discover its not what they were looking for. Anyway prediction of people's behavior isn't easy, – Ahmad Sep 17 '16 at 17:45
  • Nope, the most views always come from Google when the number of views is higher than an arbitrary amount. And attention from members hardly translates to voting. Most of the times it boils down to scrolling down to the bottom of the page in a bored manner, and even the ones that do pay attention may not vote, but edit, comment etc. – M.A.R. Sep 24 '16 at 18:24
  • @rubisco there are some question with high votes and high views, I remember some from stackoverflow. How is this happen? – Ahmad Sep 24 '16 at 20:09
  • Well, the most popular questions on SO get some two million views and two thousand votes. That's one vote in a thousand and it's not really an anomaly to the trend. – M.A.R. Sep 25 '16 at 10:24

I think Google has a big role here. These are the results for three phrases:

As can be seen, in all the three searches, my question is on the top. Specially the first two searches are responsible for the views. Maybe their comparison is not what people look for and for example they want to know if it starts with "in" or "with", then they don't vote it up even if they be a member.

I also think the number of examples and repeatitons of the title in the question and answer have effects on its Google rank.

  • 1
    +1 I agree with this. Please note that for me, the question is the fourth rather than the first hit when I open the first link in Incognito mode. But still very relevant. For the second and last link, it's indeed the first. (Please note that Google offers individualized results based on user history.) – Fiksdal Sep 19 '16 at 15:05
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    @Fiksdal right I forgot that, and Google knows I usually hit SE websites. – Ahmad Sep 19 '16 at 15:24
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    When ELL was in beta and we did a self-evaluation one of the qualities we used to rate questions was whether the question showed up early in the search results. I think now we can see how important it is for titles to be well-written! I think if you look at questions with low views, you might find that the title is vague, or the question is about something really specific (that doesn't make it "bad" just less popular or harder to search for). – ColleenV Sep 19 '16 at 17:28
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    @ColleenV - Good point. A question with a title like "Is this sentence correct?" probably won't get a lot of search engine traffic. – J.R. Sep 19 '16 at 19:24
  • @J.R. Because Google's algorithm advances "dynamic" sites over static by increasing the frequency of its robots' visits in proportion to the frequency of changes to a site, any forum-like site (Quora, reddit, e.g.) will be more likely to rank high in "organic" search. Most important, though, is the appearance of the question title in the html <title> tag. According to my nephew the googlie, this accounts for the high rank of all SE pages. (I asked him specifically, and he added that if asked to confirm, he would deny all knowledge of his uncle.) – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Sep 21 '16 at 2:05
  • @colleenv I also think the number of examples and repeatitons of the title in the question and answer have effects on its Google rank – Ahmad Sep 21 '16 at 10:11

Often, the cause of a high view count is that the question was featured in the "Hot Network Questions". However, this is usually coupled with a considerable amount of votes and comments. That is not the case here.

Moreover, the HNQ formula itself selects questions with high scores (scores of answers also count) so it's therefore quite unlikely that this question would have even entered the HNQ with such low scores.

I've checked The Wayback Machine, and there's no trace of the question in the HNQ for a relevant time period.[1], [2]

So I think we can safely rule out that the HNQ played a significant part in this view count. There may be a slim theoretical chance, but it seems so extremely unlikely that it borders on the impossible.

The fact that hardly any of the 18k viewers voted on the question/answers indicates strongly to me that they mostly did not have accounts or reputation on Stack Exchange. This leads me to suspect that they were visitors coming through search engines.

It's generally also sometimes the case that a question can be linked to on a popular blog or website. That also tends to produce a lot of views without votes. However, this doesn't seem to be the case here. I tried googling the link to your question and I didn't find any relevant results. I guess it's possible, but I have found no evidence of it.

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    I think the Google has a role here, I described that in my answer. – Ahmad Sep 19 '16 at 14:39

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