Seems like the wordpress.org plugin pages, after recent improvements to the ratings-logic, now got an even more important update. They now use “active installations” as most important metric (as has been done on drupal.org module pages for years), with total number of downloads having been relegated to the stats page.
That stats page got a face-lift as well, featuring a graph of the active versions:
In case you’re wondering what the source of that “active installations” data is, I was too and reached out to plugin-master Otto (Samuel Wood, who replied;
[The source data comes from] plugin update checks. Every WP install asks for update checks every 12 hours or so. We store a count of that info.
Yesterday the average rating of all plugins on the wordpress.org repository changed; ratings that were not linked to a review, were removed. That means that ratings dating from before approximately November 2012, when reviews were introduced, are not being taken into account any more.
This had a positive impact on the average rating of my own plugins, but especially so for Autoptimize. That plugin was largely unsupported before I took over in January 2013 and got some low ratings as a consequence (the average was 4.2 at the time, if I’m not mistaking). With those old numbers now out of the way, the average went from 4.6 to 4.8 overnight. Yay!
[Update: a couple of days later there were even more changes on the WordPress Plugin pages.]