Product Hunt Ranking Factors: When to Launch and How to Use Votes

This is an obligatory intro where I tell you about the importance of being part of the community, that your product description should be catchy and interesting, you need to use animated .gif on your post so it draws more attention, you need to find a good hunter with lots of followers and etc.

Now let’s get to the point.

When to launch?

Product Hunt day starts at 7 AM UTC.

That doesn’t mean that you need to launch as soon as possible.

Recently, Product Hunt’s own product ranked became #1 of the day, despide being 300 upvotes short (700 vs 1000). I asked them how come their product ranks first despite being 4th if we count points, they said:

tweet product hunt ranking

Which is kinda obvious, but if it’s that important of a ranking factor, that you can outrank someone being 300 upvotes short – you need to launch later.

I recommend submitting your product around 10 AM UTC, or three hours after the start of the day.

How to use votes on Product Hunt?

I assume we all have resources for gaming the system – friends, co-workers, people in closed chats who will vote at your request.

What would be the best way to use this resource?

According to Ryan Hoover, Product Hunt is using a ranking algorithm similar to Reddit’s algorithm.
This article is the best one I’ve seen when it comes to breaking down Reddit’s algorithm and this is the one Ryan used for reference.

Ryan Hoover Tweet

Now let’s take a closer look and try to figure out in what respect is this algorithm similar.

  1. Submission time has a big impact on the ranking and the algorithm will rank newer stories higher than older (Plausible)
  2. The score won’t decrease as time goes by, but newer stories will get a higher score than older. (Plausible)
  3. Logarithmic upvoting scale. The first 10 upvotes have the same weight as the next 100 upvotes which have the same weight as the next 1000 etc… (Plausible but with different checkpoints)
  4. Controversial stories that get similar amounts of upvotes and downvotes will get a low ranking compared to stories that mainly get upvotes. (False, as is anything related to downvotes)

These are all major points covered in that article, so if what Ryan said on Twitter is true, and Product Hunt does have a similar algorithm we should focus on – submission time and logarithmic voting scale.

We already figured out the submission time, now let’s take a closer look at the logarithmic scale.

Why is it important?

If you know checkpoints at which vote weight is changing you can use your resource more efficiently. You can save your votes to get a ranking boost at the right time and stay higher with fewer upvotes.

What are the checkpoints?

I’ve analyzed a lot of results from Product Hunt and here’s what I think:

Checkpoint number one is somewhere around 30 votes mark.

Checkpoint number two is close to 100 votes.

Checkpoint number three is close to 250–300 votes.

It’s hard to claim anything beyond this point as the number of products which get more than 500 upvotes on the same day is not enough.

A step-by-step guide to launching on Product Hunt

  1. Submit your product at 10AM UTC
  2. Get your first 30 upvotes within 30-45 minutes, this can put you above those under 100
  3. Let it grow organically for an hour
  4. If you’ve reached 100 votes organically within an hour, don’t touch it yet. If not, get your product to 100+ by using your resource
  5. As soon as you hit 200 votes mark, boost your product to 250
  6. Keep some votes for the last hour and pour them in during that hour to increase your rank

The end.

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