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"Views" count in all IPS apps are fake !


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IPS Blog .. IPS Forum .. IPS Downloads .. IPS Profile Visitors .. IPS BugTracker

They all have a total views count that should represent a per client/guest visit (IP/cookie based) .. but IPS community Suite does NOT do this .. Every page that triggers this views count is easily manipulated by simply refreshing/reloading the page, there is no tracking at all .. even it is increased by 2 per page reload!! ..

 

ab -n 2000 -c 20 http://community.invisionpower.com/topic/404337-views-count-in-all-ips-apps-are-fake/

A simple Linux command that loads the page 2000x times in a few minutes .. the total views will increase also by 2000 .. this is unacceptable!!

IPS Company Blog has 4.806.573 views .. What is the point of representing a fake number? .. I increased it today by 10.000 views in a matter of minutes ..  

 

vBulletin, WordPress, Facebook, YouTube .. etc .. they all have total view counts in their system .. the right way ! ( that should be the logic right? ) ..

 

Why faking it? .. Yes .. there is an article out (link somewhere in the IPS 4 test community) that IPS Community Suite 4 was flagged as the fastest board out there ..

Of course .. Skipping checks on tracking cookies/IP's who visit will decrease lags .. But it is not a fair comparison.

 

I want to use IPS because I want to sell my software .. I also want to see how many people are interested in some articles & specially downloads .. but if statistics are totally wrong & can be manipulated by anyone, what is the use of all of this?

 

It is a vulnerability/exposure to the site!  ..  And how to moderate even a 10 client forum where views run into 10.000's just in a view days work .. it's ridiculous .. how to mod and tweak that number down?

 

I've reported all this as a bug .. and it is flagged as "not a bug", without any comments further from IPB .. it should be a major bug ..

So .. here I am ..

I hope someone can support me in this to get it done the right way ..

 

 

 

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FWIW, you can create artificial download counts in a similar manner. I've brought this up a few times.

But to be fair, I think this is a tricky situation. Tracking cookies are a deterrent for F5/refresh spam, but I'm not sure if it's worth the overhead. Why? Because view counts (unlike download counts, which are used for measuring popularity in multiple areas) aren't really that important, and this can easily be negated by simply not saving/ignoring cookies. I'm pretty sure ab doesn't store/save cookies, for example, so that Linux command would work either way.

So then you're left with a solution of IP matching. This is reasonable when downloading files in IP.Downloads, but for topic views this would be insane and highly unfeasible.

(Also, I'm pretty sure you can actually still spam refresh on a newly uploaded YouTube video and see the view count go up. There's probably a security feature/deterrent that kicks in at some point though.)

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Why not use Google Analytics ?

 

Pageviews vs. Unique Pageviews

A pageview is defined as a view of a page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics tracking code. If a user clicks reload after reaching the page, this is counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second pageview is recorded as well.

A unique pageview, as seen in the Content Overview report, aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session. A unique pageview represents the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times.

 

I see the struggle to implement this in every post per IPS app .. But somehow it should be an excellent tracker ..

Can it even be possible to retrieve data from them and display it ?

 

 

 

 

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No, and even if it was possible something like that would be enormously complex to implement as a solution for what is really at best a negligible problem.

I don't recommend leaving the "update topic views immediately" option enabled anyways. You disable this primarily for performance reasons, but it also removes instant feedback, reducing the temptation users may have to spam refresh their topics since they won't actually see the topic views going up immediately.

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Erm vBulletin v4 does not have this functionality, the forum view counts are only updated on a scheduled task though which makes it seem like they have not changed.

​Yes, and the same can be said for Wordpress and virtually every other web application out there as well. They all operate in pretty much the same way.

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I hope someone can support me in this to get it done the right way ..​

First, calm down a little bit and and try to voice your requests in a civilized manner. 

It is simply wrong to say the view counts are fake. They are not. Whenever a page is loaded, that is a view. If it’s loaded 2000 times in 10 minuted by a bot, then it correctly shows those 2000 views. It is supposed to – by design. Hence reporting this as a bug is also wrong. 

Your statement about stock web software such as WordPress having this feature is also wrong. Why do you make stuff like that up? Social Media sites are a very different story. They have nearly unlimited resources and operate very differently than IP.Board, WordPress, vBulletin and so on.

 

Also: Views don’t necessarily represent “real interest” by a specific person and just because view CAN be increased artificially, doesn’t mean that they are. First there needs to be a real interest to do this and and real problems that follow. For a typical IPS community I don’t really see that scenario. Maybe if most of your sales are generated through a "most viewed downloads page" or something like that. But that is not really typical. 

As Kirito already said: Tracking the source of each view of every possible link in an IPS suite creates a huuuuuuuuge overhead. You can’t just “activate” such a feature. It would need very careful consideration. 

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I think being able to throttle the number of hits that can be registered from a single client in a short time period is an understandable thing to desire, it's just completely technologically unfeasible to implement, and it's a negligible "issue" anyways. If there was a really light and actually reliable way to do this, sure. But there's not.

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I think being able to throttle the number of hits that can be registered from a single client in a short time period is an understandable thing to desire, it's just completely technologically unfeasible to implement, and it's a negligible "issue" anyways. If there was a really light and actually reliable way to do this, sure. But there's not.

​Potentially but with the ip4 problem its going to be less of an option in the future when ip6 is rolled out and people start using ip4 gateway ip's

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As an administrator and member of forums I think thread and other view counts should be removed. They mean nearly nothing and can frustrate people that see their thread get views, but no replies. If I were to be interested in anything similar, it would be a list of which signed-in members viewed the thread and not how many.

Edited by Jυra
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I'd go for how many signed-in members viewed it, not a list of which ones. If I was a member of a board like that I would probably have occasional reservations about reading a topic because I'd know that everyone else knew I'd viewed it.

Edited by Darkshines
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I viewed this topic twice

....

So technically, it was viewed twice.

It's not fake, it's not flawed, your idea of it is wrong. I certainly hope they do not introduce a unique hits per topic system (can you imagine how awful this would be on big boards?, the tables of viewing data would be bigger than the posts data) and if so, better have the ability to disable it.

You could if you want, add a cookie variable of the last viewed topic to be checked to prevent someone just sitting there pressing F5 to increase their ... idk Pride? in their probably empty topic. But thats all it would do and it can be easily circumvented.

Edited by Cyrem
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