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Traffic in a sim


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Hello everyone, 

We all have seen sims getting traffic increased by random avatars parked in their sims, I was wondering how exactly is traffic calculated. I hope someone could help me in understanding the algorithm behind SL traffic calculator. Is it average number of different avatars over a period of time, or something else. Even if you don't know exact algorithm, some observations will be helpful too.

Thank you, and stay home  

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What you are probably seeing is bots used to game the traffic metrics to move a place up in searches. Technically this is not allowed but since there is ZERO enforcement MANY sims do it anyway. Often the avatars are hidden way up in the clouds or underground but not always, some just loiter around on pose balls

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I've got a feeling that somewhere, in the not so distant past, I've read that traffic calculation might be a bit more complicated than that, Unfortunately, I can't find any other references to it at the moment. Maybe I'm mistaken; perhaps someone else knows if there has been changes since that article was written?

The situation regarding bots is mentioned in the link I posted. Bots are perfectly acceptable for reasonable uses. Abuses, e.g. to simply increase traffic, is not acceptable and "overuse will result in further action". I suspect it would take an Abuse Report to trigger any further action.

Edited by Odaks
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12 hours ago, Odaks said:

I've got a feeling that somewhere, in the not so distant past, I've read that traffic calculation might be a bit more complicated than that, Unfortunately, I can't find any other references to it at the moment. Maybe I'm mistaken; perhaps someone else knows if there has been changes since that article was written?

Some Linden, whose name I can't remember now, some years ago mentioned in a user group meeting transcript about how Traffic was calculated, which was a little more than just a simple time measure, but the calculated sum amounted to the same thing - 1 point per minute.  Lots of user testing has confirmed that each avatar earns 1440 points per 24 hours.  As I remember it was also mentioned in the transcript that there is a 3 minute wait period before the traffic calculator kicks in for an avatar. Less than 3 minutes and the avatar's presence is not counted

i don't remember where the transcript is either, but most likely is down in Inara's Pey blog somewhere

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15 hours ago, Bunderwahl Guisse said:

What you are probably seeing is bots used to game the traffic metrics to move a place up in searches. Technically this is not allowed but since there is ZERO enforcement MANY sims do it anyway. Often the avatars are hidden way up in the clouds or underground but not always, some just loiter around on pose balls

Avatars that are registered as bots do not count to traffic metrics. Of course, this assumes that everyone is honest about registering their bots...

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Just curious, but if anyone here could change how traffic is calculated, what would you do differently?

Would you require an agent's position on the parcel to change by # meters to count towards that minute's point value?

Would you require there be some kind of camera movement?

What about controls use?

Chat that must be heard by # agents or # newly arrived agents?

What criteria could not be abused by script or bot?

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On 5/2/2020 at 12:28 PM, Bunderwahl Guisse said:

What you are probably seeing is bots used to game the traffic metrics to move a place up in searches. Technically this is not allowed but since there is ZERO enforcement MANY sims do it anyway. Often the avatars are hidden way up in the clouds or underground but not always, some just loiter around on pose balls

The rules are enforced if traffic gaming is reported. See the abuse reporting interface under help. Choose excessive scripts and be sure to take a screen shot via the interface of the avatars that appear to be breaking the rules.

Edited by Leannyn
clarity
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15 hours ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

Just curious, but if anyone here could change how traffic is calculated, what would you do differently?

I feel like there is an assumption here that traffic is the best measure of what makes a sim worth visiting.

Personally the number of people for me is not an influencing decision as to why I would visit a sim. I am interested in quality of interaction over quantity.

I am also interested in the quality of the sim in general, what types of activities there are. What is the build like? Will I enjoy looking at it? Will my computer run it? 

I think it is unfortunate that so much emphasis is given to traffic in region search and lends itself to a lot of people making bot accounts to game it instead of putting effort into their sim. 

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8 hours ago, Extrude Ragu said:

I feel like there is an assumption here that traffic is the best measure of what makes a sim worth visiting.

Personally the number of people for me is not an influencing decision as to why I would visit a sim. I am interested in quality of interaction over quantity.

I am also interested in the quality of the sim in general, what types of activities there are. What is the build like? Will I enjoy looking at it? Will my computer run it? 

I think it is unfortunate that so much emphasis is given to traffic in region search and lends itself to a lot of people making bot accounts to game it instead of putting effort into their sim. 

That's why I asked what would anyone here do differently and what change could not be abused by script or bot.

I too, would personally like to see one or more metrics, not just the traffic value that is widely abused without penalty and also skewed by presence, but inactivity.

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The algorithm for sorting places is not always by traffic alone. The Websearch defaults to "relevance" which could be anything as far as I can tell:
b801caf029.png

I'd show the legacy search for comparison but the results are quite wild.

8 hours ago, Extrude Ragu said:

I feel like there is an assumption here that traffic is the best measure of what makes a sim worth visiting.

Well, if your goal is to meet people, the first place to look for most people is not low-traffic sims. It's a rich-get-richer type of thing from the average users.

On 5/2/2020 at 10:28 PM, Bunderwahl Guisse said:

Often the avatars are hidden way up in the clouds or underground but not always, some just loiter around on pose balls

And ironically the ones that are "hidden away" are by far the easiest to find and instantly identify. This trend of "afk" hangouts makes it basically impossible to identify traffic bots in plain sight. Even real people use text viewers so they can afk more efficiently.

Regarding the enforcement of traffic bots, it seems pretty hit-and-miss. I've noticed a handful of places get cleaned up a few days after my reports (I used to hunt for bots for entertainment), but I don't know whether that was because of reports or because nobody else actually visited the places and they just shut down. There are certainly some big places that have been around for a very long time that just don't seem to get touched at all.

23 hours ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

Just curious, but if anyone here could change how traffic is calculated, what would you do differently?

Would you require an agent's position on the parcel to change by # meters to count towards that minute's point value?

Would you require there be some kind of camera movement?

What about controls use?

Chat that must be heard by # agents or # newly arrived agents?

What criteria could not be abused by script or bot?

There's literally nothing that couldn't be faked by a bot. You can create artificial keyboard inputs and mouse movements, it's not worth chasing that goose when the viewers are open-source.

Ideally, traffic would be changed to "activity" and it would take all aspects of what avatars can do into account, maybe with slight weights on things that promote social interaction the most, but that's probably not as important as it's very subjective. An avatar that does nothing should not count towards activity.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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On 5/4/2020 at 7:03 AM, Lucia Nightfire said:

What criteria could not be abused by script or bot?

am not sure there is anything that couldn't be automated by a bot

the metric I would prefer to see is the current number of unique avatars on the parcel at the moment.  Like how Destinations does it.  When searching for social then more is good. When shopping then less is good

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2 hours ago, Mollymews said:

am not sure there is anything that couldn't be automated by a bot

the metric I would prefer to see is the current number of unique avatars on the parcel at the moment.  Like how Destinations does it.  When searching for social then more is good. When shopping then less is good

Would public "last 24 hours" metrics such as "# of unique visitors", "average # visits per unique user" or "average # minutes per unique visitor" be of any additional value or use in determining whether to visit a location if you are not already necessarily looking for a location based on a search term or a commerce type?

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8 minutes ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

Would public "last 24 hours" metrics such as "# of unique visitors", "average # visits per unique user" or "average # minutes per unique visitor" be of any additional value or use in determining whether to visit a location if you are not already necessarily looking for a location based on a search term or a commerce type?

i think that information would be useful for the parcel owner, perhaps on About Land dialog

i was more thinking about from me as a potential visitor browsing the Search.  For social then where are the people right now. For shopping then I want to know can I get in to the parcel/region. Destinations does this for a relatively few selected regions. I would like to see it extended to more than a few

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5 hours ago, Mollymews said:

Destinations does this for a relatively few selected regions.

Not really seeing an actual number of current visitors in web search.

Hovering over the "people" icons has a popup showing "Current Population:" with no number.

I can't see a visitor count in Destinations anywhere.

In legacy search, being able to see and even sort by current number of visitors instead of traffic would be a big plus to me.

Edited by Lucia Nightfire
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