# Bumping old questions

What are the rules/guidelines for bumping old questions? (old as in 1 year or more) What is usually the maximum time before a question is considered too old to bump?

• There is no "too old to bump." Yet pointless bumping and flooding the frontpage with numerous bumps close in time are discouraged. – quid Aug 20 '16 at 23:44
• – Martin Sleziak Aug 21 '16 at 5:33
• My rule: do not bump more that 3 stale questions per day. – GEdgar Aug 21 '16 at 13:20
• How to bump an old question which is unanswered? – gambler101 Aug 21 '16 at 18:01
• @ShubhamKumar if you want to give it visibility place a bounty. If not, I do not understand the question. – quid Aug 22 '16 at 1:01
• Doesn't editing or answering an old question bump it? – suomynonA Aug 22 '16 at 4:08
• @Anonymous Yes, though those actions should always carry an intention beyond "I want to bump this question" – Milo Brandt Aug 22 '16 at 5:10
• Instead of just bumping the question and hoping that somehow this will lead to a different outcome than the previous time, try to improve the question as well as you can. The question will then naturally be bumped, and it will have a better chance of receiving an answer (or at least comments). – Najib Idrissi Aug 22 '16 at 15:44

Bumping of a Question, old or not, does not of itself signify anything constructive, re the mission of Math.SE. Bumping occurs as a side-effect of editing or answering a Question and serves the purpose of bringing these changes to the Community's attention.

If an Edit or Answer is worthwhile, even for an older Question, then the bumping that occurs is generally unobjectionable, certainly a secondary concern at best. Thus the age of the affected Question is at best a tertiary concern.

• I disagree. Making a minor edit (adding a tag, fixing a spelling mistake,...) is OK, even desirable, for a question still on the front page. But not for a question that has had no activity for a year. – GEdgar Aug 22 '16 at 12:33
• @GEdgar: A Question may have "no activity for a year" affecting its front page appearance, yet still receive views and votes, factors more directly connected to the value of edits. Certainly some edits are less valuable than others, and some users object to even important link-rot fixes to systematic problems when many older Questions are affected. So I will agree to disagree, my position being that the age of a Question for a worthwhile edit is of tertiary importance. – hardmath Aug 22 '16 at 14:34
• Bumping occurs as a side-effect of editing or answering FWIW it can also occur due to the Community background process: "Randomly poke old unanswered questions every hour so they get some attention". P.S. Or maybe "no accepted or upvoted answers", seeing that Lengths of the sides of a triangle: sufficient and necessary condition? was just bumped to the active page by Community, even though it had a posted answer. – dxiv Aug 25 '16 at 0:01
• @dxiv: I'm aware of the Community bumps. I'm glad you pointed it out; since the Question and its Answer were both reasonable and had zero votes, I upvoted both. Unanswered here perhaps includes Questions with no upvoted or accepted Answer. Mention of Community bumps did not find a place in my narrative since they are independent of user action. – hardmath Aug 25 '16 at 3:41

The Community process will occasionally bump random questions without any activity triggering it. That tells me that bumping old questions is indeed desirable, as long as it doesn't affect too many in too short a time. And I'd rather see a post bumped because it got improved than just bumped with no improvement.

So if you want to answer a question or improve a post, I'd say go ahead, improve our site with valuable content. If the questions you process are similar in nature (e.g. because you're going over a given tag listing, or all posts of a given author, or deliberately searching for some common misspelling or dead links or something like that), make sure to limit your bumps so that they don't come to dominate the front page. Perhaps check there is only one or two of them in the list at any given time?

If, on the other hand, you don't intend to substantially improve the post, but only edit it for the sake of bumping the question, then I'd rather not see that tool being abused. If you want to draw attention, offer a bounty. Or hope for luck and wait for the Community process to bump it.

• The auto-bump occurs for questions which have no upvoted answers and have a positive (non-negative?) score. Namely, questions that as far as the system is concerned are unanswered. – Asaf Karagila Aug 31 '16 at 20:10