I can't make heads or tails of how GitHub seems to be choosing my "Popular Repositories". They seem to shift around. One of my repositories has one star (whoop-dee-doo!) and that one appears at the top, which makes sense. The others seem to be in a random order, not any order of how much I've committed to them or anything.

There's even one repository that I created as a playground for learning unit testing in VimL and then got interrupted and never got back to which is currently listed in my popular repositories.

Does anyone know what the algorithm is for this?

1 Answer 1


This is what they say officially:

Popular repositories

This lists your repositories with the most stars and watchers. Go you!

But looking it over, the listing order/precedence comes out as:

  1. All repositories created by you
  2. All repositories you've forked

Then it counts the contributors, stars and watchers in that order, on each of those to see which is given greater weight.

For example, you might have another user watching your version of a fork, but it will come under a repo you've created if that repo has had another user contribute code to it.

Since June 2016 you can also override that and select up to five repos of your choosing that you would rather appear in this list instead.

  • Probably the ordering of my repositories just doesn't make sense because they have so few contributors, stargazers and watchers. Therefore, the ordering seems fairly arbitrary.
    – Kazark
    Commented Feb 22, 2014 at 19:54
  • 2
    Age is also a possible factor, the newer repo would sit above an older if all other metrics match Commented Feb 22, 2014 at 19:55
  • I think that page views plays a factor, based on my own 'popular repositories' page Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 13:20
  • Eight Days, if there's a logic to it, age might indeed be a major factor. My page has, at the moment, the one repo with some watchers, a recent repo with no activity in the last couple of weeks, then 3 of the 5 I've forked, in reverse order of # of contributors. My repo that I commit to the most, and most recently, got pushed out of the Popular box by the most recent fork. However the first-listed non-watched repo was created more recently than others. The non-watched are also the first repos by alphabetic order, but Kazarks' page doesn't follow that rule.
    – Mars
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 0:40

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