I certainly understand the algorithm as Frugalrvers described it, but also the impetus behind that.
My favourite analogy is to imagine it like a shop window. To drag people in off the streets, you want to display the best that you've got.
The only way that Wizzley can work that out is by looking to see what the readers are loving. That comes in likes, comments, participation in polls/duels, and in social networking shares. They all equate to a high popularity rank per article.
Even the Editor's Choice doesn't factor in here, because that's only one person's subjective opinion. For example, Chef Keem may love something enough to stick a rosette on it. Everyone else thinks it's pants. The article will still have the award, but the article rank will go down.
The public speaks, you get 100% or 1%, whatever they decide. If it's 100%, then the algorithm will note that it's quality and shove it in the cyber 'shop' window.
Now throw in all that mathematics. That's telling the algorithm what kind of article each author tends to write. Your author rank reflects the average for your articles.
But you also need to factor in time, in a different way. Nothing here happens overnight. It takes 24 hours for any article to move anywhere. Primarily, the algorithm looks at traffic - not particular amounts, but sudden surges. This tends to happen anyway with new articles, as we promote them.
Strike two is looking at the likes and/or comments. That moves it up another notch. But there are levels here. For example, no article can retain 100% without recently getting four likes.
*sorry! Got to go, real life is happening. Brb*