PH doesn't allow us to go on front page

Hey all,

I thought this experience was worth sharing with y'all.

I launched a database-product on PH today and got great support from the community (currently counting 30+ upvotes, got retweeted by Rosie Sherry and Arvid Kahl ❤️ ).

But unfortunately, PH doesn't allow us to go to the front page, as we are a "list" product.

First, they told me it's an "algorithm" thing and that if we got enough upvotes, we could still make it to the front page.

My first reaction: wtf?! but okay, let's get more upvotes!

Got 20+ more upvotes, the aforementioned retweets and some good traction, but still no frontpage.

Reached back out to the PH team, wondering whether it was a bug this time. But nope, this time my post is "not eligible" for going to the front page. First the algorithm, now simply not eligible.

They've pointed me to this resource, but it's still kinda ambiguous as you do see products on this list go viral on PH every other day.

Just thought this was important to share with some of you who are planning on launching database products on PH!

Wishing y'all a great day and weekend, and keep building 🤗

  1. 3

    Roughly a year ago several people (including me!) saw some success with their database products.

    Afterward Product Hunt was somewhat flooded with similar products.

    Then Product Hunt decided to overcompensate by shadow banning the product category as a whole ¯\(ツ)

    A similar thing recently happened with people relaunching their products. Many years people posted their product after launching a new feature, calling it Version 3.0 or whatever. Then this was of course abused by some people and Product Hunt overcompensated by allowing one launch per year per product or something along these lines.

    Also human moderators that actively curate what ends up on the front page seem to play a much bigger role.

    1. 2

      Thanks for sharing those insights, Jakob! I'm a noob on ProductHunt and thought that the front page is self-curated through to the "upvote" feature only (like a subreddit's "hottest" page, e.g.). That's why I thought that upvotes were the only factor in ranking high on PH.

      But I also see how this design can be plaid by users, so having humans curate the front page makes sense. Having more transparency as to what metrics those humans use to decide whether a product is allowed on the front page would be great for the makers, IMO.

      Yes, they have this post they shared with me, which states that "Lists/Directories" may be removed. But we still see Lists/Directories launch and rank high on PH. Those are probably products that require much more effort (e.g. @thefedoration with thehiveindex.com) than our small side-project, and they clearly deserve more attention. Would've been great knowing this beforehand, but one could also blame me for not researching this enough 🤷‍♂️

      1. 1

        It used to be this way. Votes decided who ended up on the front page and only obvious spam post got removed manually. Now it seems to be the other way round.

        I really doubt there was anything wrong with this approach. It worked for years and I never hear anyone complain about this pure meritocracy.

        But as you might know, recently Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover stepped down and was replaced by Josh Buckley who, in turn, was replaced shortly afterward by Ashley Higgins. As usual, new CEOs feel the need to leave their mark and you end up with developments like this.

        My personal guess is that they allow a maximum of 1 list product per day which is why sometimes products like The Hive Index still make it to the front page.

        1. 1

          Interesting, didn’t know about the recent CEO changes! And yea you’re right, there’s nothing wrong having it the other way around (removing only obvious spam posts). When I was frustrated because of how PH was dealing with this on launch day, I repeatedly had to think about your latest opportunities.so issue on „when they slip“ … 😂

          1. 1

            yep, definitely should've included Product Hunt as another great example

  2. 2

    Woah that’s crazy!! Thanks for sharing. I’ve seen so many list products this removal is surprising to me. Sorry that happened

    1. 1

      Yea, maybe that's the reason why they have a higher barrier of entry for database products now.

  3. 1

    Yeah It's a funky thing. Just need to calibrate the copy you're using. Don't say list, or directory. Need to pitch it as a tool. Make it as though you are running something all the time not just a one time list of things. Check out what ExplodingTopics says: "We surface rapidly growing topics before they take off." It's something that will last. Seems it's constantly updated and tweaked.

    check out other database type projects like @jakobgreenfeld's Newsletter Spy: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/newsletter-spy-2-0

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing, Andrew! Yea, we actually tried to convey this message on the landing page. We were mostly talking about "database," and we mentioned that it is going to be updated. But at two spots we used the word "list," maybe that was the trigger. We will definitely keep this in mind for future launches on PH, and use our copy (and design for that matter, just found out now that there was a bug, ouch 🤕) carefully.

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