Will Lack of Quality Content be the End of Hubpages?

Whatever Happened to Quality Content?

In days gone by, a person would take out a pen and commit some words to paper because he thought that he had something to say; something to communicate to another person, or to a wider audience.

Nowadays, things have changed. Nowadays, most of those who write on Hubpages and elsewhere put finger to keyboard with a different objective; to make money. These “authors” mostly have nothing to say, and even if they did, they have no adequate means of saying it. I have even read articles by authors with a maximum 100 Hubber score whose command of English is truly woeful. Lets not forget that an author with a 100 score is showcased on the home page and looked up to as an example by lesser writing mortals and newcomers to Hubpages. We should expect and see a higher writing standard.

Far too many of the articles on Hubpages contain no original content whatsoever, and don’t actually say anything worth saying. It’s all marketing. Write a catchy headline, search the Internet, gather together photos, links to other sites, a video or three, package it all together with some Amazon and eBay advertising, and hey presto, a new hub is born. Suck the reader in with empty promises, add a few sentences of broken English, entice the punter to click on something, everyone makes money and everyone is happy. Except me!

I am tired, tired, tired of opening articles with engaging titles only to find that either there is no worthwhile content at all, or if there is, it is so badly written that I have to struggle through, wincing at the pigeon English. It can be truly painful and is often a complete waste of time.

Quite recently, I browsed at random five newly published hubs. Two were from Filipinos, two were from Indians and the fifth was from an American. The Filipino articles might just as well have been written in Swahili for all the sense they made. The Indian articles; well no self-respecting 12 year old schoolboy would submit these for his English homework, and the fifth was supposedly a book review, but simply listed quotes from the book and did not say anything original or offer any opinion about the work at all. It was utterly boring - I would rather watch paint dry.

Amazingly, even a top Hubber score in the 95-100 range is no guarantee of readability, as these too, are often non-English mother tongue individuals and so their writing is riddled with grammatical errors and poorly constructed sentences. In fact the Hubber score seems to have more to do with popularity, good community practices and revenue potential than quality. So why are these authors showcased by Hubpages? Whatever you say about the Hubber score, people do associate better scores with better quality. By assigning a Hubber a 100 score, you do place the notion in the reader’s mind that this author is “better” than an 80 score Hubber. It is time for a reality check.

Quality Control

But how do you gauge quality when it is so subjective? I did a test today. I chose an article by a 98 score Hubber, which was badly written and rather painful to read. I put it through Microsoft Word’s grammar and spell checker and guess what? It passed. Not a single error. True, each individual word was spelled correctly, but many of those words were put in the wrong places or used in the wrong context. The article was absolute twaddle as far as English usage is concerned, but MS Word could not detect this. I am sure that the author had already run the article through MS Word and therefore thought that the English was fine. But it most certainly was not. So what’s to be done?

Well, I would like to make a few suggestions:

  1. Quality check every article. This could be done automatically as the hub is submitted for publication. MS Word is no good for this, but surely there is specialist software available, or some could be written, which can flag “non-English” sentences, so that sub-standard hubs could be rejected.
  2. Enforce Minimum Word Count . Some of the hubs that I have stumbled across recently contain 150 words or less. Unless it is poetry, this is far too short. Yes, you can say something of value in 150 words, but it is difficult and beyond the capabilities of most authors. Short articles could be rejected.
  3. Block Non-English Mother Tongue. The worst of the pigeon English seems to emanate from India, China, Malaysia and the Philippines. Users from these countries can be detected by their IP address and should be blocked from publishing by default. I believe that sites such as Helium already do this. Of course there are exceptions, those who can write proper English, and so these authors could be allowed to publish after either they themselves, or their individual hubs have been approved.
  4. Block Photo only hubs. Hubpages is a site for writers and not photographers. There are legions of sites for photographers. Either block photo only hubs, or create a sub-domain of Hubpages especially for them.
  5. Featured authors. Choose authors at random to be featured or highlighted, and select hubs at random as long as they both have, say, an 80 score or higher. As Hubber score is no indication of quality, it makes no sense to only feature hubs from Hubbers with a high 90’s or 100 score.

I think Hubpages is a great site with many positive attributes, a great community, some really good writers (if you can find them), friendly helpful staff, and we can even make a few cents for our efforts. But when it becomes useless because the vast majority of its hubs are junk, written in pigeon English, or are just a series of pictures of fat, half-naked, middle-aged Indian mothers-of-five, then its reputation will suffer, and its days are surely numbered. This would be a terrible shame.

So let’s act now to preserve some quality of content. Surely quality still counts for something? Or at least it should. Let’s help to save Hubpages before it sinks under the accumulated weight of its own mediocrity.


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Comments 33 comments

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

I understand your pain and frustration on the quality of some pages. Some times I see lots of high quality hubs in the new hubs section, but this weekend, I have come across a lot of low quality ones. I don't agree with stopping people from certain places - that really is discriminatory and lots of people from those places write well. Hopefully the subdomains have helped keep them from impacting us too much, and we can keep flagging them as we come across them.

sam-eg profile image

sam-eg 5 years ago from Happy Land

ps; their fault

sam-eg profile image

sam-eg 5 years ago from Happy Land

Well written hub and you were talking about a huge problem about the poor written hubs by non English mother tongue people that you are suggesting that they must be blocked because there only fault while wanting to send a message or talk about their problems to a bigger audience and in a place they thought they can talk freely, as well as they thought the message they are talking about would be more important than the fact of it had been written in a good English or bad English , while may be that was the main reason they joined Hub pages , more over what’s wrong if they wanted to add extra money to their pockets “who wouldn’t love that” or else it wouldn’t be offered by hup pages in the first place, however that was just my opinion but lets talk about some minor facts you didn’t notice while writing your hub There are over

1.3 billion People in China

, 1.1 billion in India

, 98 million in Philippine

and 21,793,000 million Malaysia

with that former numbers I think at least 500 million are using the internet

However, there was a statistics: as per domaintools that there are 8,722,940 Unique visitors per month visiting hubpage


so you can estimate the number of Chinese , Indian, Pilipino and Malaysian from the 8.7 million monthly visitors and if you are adding that every one who can’t speak perfect English shouldn’t not be on hubpages so I guess hub pages visitors will go way down and Hubpages website will defiantly go down the pan

leann2800 5 years ago

I know what you mean. I flag all the poor quality content I come across. But, it really makes the folks who bother to do work, write, and research look bad when they are being published in the same market as choppy English and random photos. I have come across many photo pages that are marketing pretty girls. It takes us down from not only a writing forum to porn. It's ridiculous.

Ania L profile image

Ania L 5 years ago from United Kingdom

I can totally understand your point of view and agree on the low quality issue.

English is not my mother tongue as anyone can tell from the errors I make in my hubs. However, I personally feel that by writing in English I learn a lot. If I had no such opportunity, my English would never get better. I hope one day in the future I will become a real pro :)

As someone mentioned here already we all have the means to flag hubs either poorly written or with a low quality content, so why not use it when you spot such a bad hub?

If there was a system in place to approve each hub manually before publishing then we would need to wait several days in most cases before something would see the light (like on Triond). The low quality hubs are the price we pay for our freedom.

Mind that I personally flagged a lot of content written in my language (Polish) and I doubt anyone else would be able to find them at all.

You are suggesting using some software to check if a hub is written in proper English - unfortunately there aren't any good. I've tried a few and boy, the end result was a complete disaster. If you find anything good - let me know, I'll be the first person to use it as I would love to produce hubs with the highest possible quality.

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

I haven't been here long, but I feel your pain. I published my first hub in about two hours. I am a pro artist and I could have done it in 15 minutes on the user friendly programs I roll with. I am allergic to Quark. I wandered onto the religion and philosophy forum and felt like the new kid in the special class.

I am not opposed to people from other countries working on their chops, even with crypto programs. Some can run circles around us, and some personas use it to great effect. (Sky9106) He can talk right if he wants to. I live in Florida, and we love that kind of stuff. My guess is you are from up north where folks are picky.

No one on here is a successful writer, or they would have better things to do. Hello?! I'm not talking talent, I'm talking successful.

Some of the hero's aren't Americans and English isn't their first language. I have caught some subtle translation glitches. They can back up their word choice with an online dictionary, but not with the 50 year Webster on my desk. For instance, shouldn't it be going down the tubes (not pan)? Why is a California company using a European program?

This isn't about writing; it is about diverting traffic from the search engine. What better way to do it than have 3,000 people slinging words all day? That’s why a scholar can't get a clean search anymore. Everyone is making money on the internet. It reminds me of standing under the Loopty-Loop at the fair waiting for quarters to come flying out. Look at this.


Bigget botnet scam ever - didyour traffic go down?

molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

Maybe you are looking in the wrong place. I have found many, many excellent writers here on hubpages. In fact I know of no other place on the internet, with such a wealth of talent. Hubpages is truly unique.

wixor profile image

wixor 5 years ago

It's probably a classic balancing exercise. Who are we to judge someone's writing ability, or the quality of work, within reason. How could someone abitrarily decide someone's hub was blantant marketing - as opposed to subtle marketing? Or one hub had less value than another?

You could have some rating system I suppose for authors, but what criteria would be used. A voting system is open for manipulation of course, even something based on the number of comments could be hacked. And I'm sure HP doesn't want some bland site which ends up boring everyone away.

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

This Rupal capsule sucked the piece up before I could correct it. I usually keep a wordy program open and paste from it.

Here comes the public version, next.

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

I haven't been here long, but I feel your pain. I published my first hub in about two hours. I am a pro artist and I could have done it in 15 minutes on the user friendly programs I roll with. I am allergic to Quark. I wandered onto the religon and philosophy forum and felt like the new kid in the special class.

I am not opposed to people from other countries working on their chops, even with cryppto programs. Some can run circles around us, and some personas use it to great effect. (Sky9106) He can talk right if he wants to. I live in Florida, and we love that kind of stuff. My guess is you are from up north where folks are picky.

No one on here is a successful writer, or they would have better things to do. Hello?!

Some of the hero's aren't Americans and English isn't their first language. I have caught some subtle translation glitches. They can back up their word choice with an online dictionary, but not with the 50 year Webster on my desk. Why is a California company using a European program?

This isn't about writing, it is about diverting traffic from the search engine. What better way to do it than have 3,000 people slinging words all day? that's why a scholar can't get a clean search anymore. Everyone is making money on the internet. It reminds me of standing under the Loopty-Loop at the fair waiting for quartes to come flying out. Look at this.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

With over 200,000 hubbers I do not think you can blanket all hubbers together....there are many hubbers that produce excellent hubs that can not be found anywhere else on the internet...Steve Lensman from the above comment is an example of that type of hubber....he puts a different spin on each of his hubs....there many hubbers that you mentioned in the hub....and there many more hubbers in the middle....that is why you read the ones you are interested in and ignore the rest of the hubs. I enjoyed your hub and I am sure 19 months later your probably feel the same way....but I am glad you stuck with HubPages.

Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England

There are some really excellent hubs in hubpages, informative articles that I've learnt a lot of from. But there is also far too much 'filler'. I've seen hubs with maybe 20 words, were they rhyming words? I don't know. Isn't this what Google were frowning on?

What hubpages resembles is a forum, a massive forum where each topic or question gets published as a seperate entity on the world wide web.

People tend to quickly write down whatever pops into their mind and publish it as a hub, for instance "Hey who else likes smelling their farts" and that becomes a published hub. :)

It's basically a huge forum.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Howdy sannyasinman - I appreciated the contents of this article and, also, the skill with which it was written. It is difficult to understand how some hubs are constructed so as to contain little of value, either practical value or artistic value.

I enjoy writing hubs that are of diverse topic and style. They range from "dumb poems" to tall tales to serious articles in the way of medical and scientific subjects. Most recently, I posted one hub the purpose of which was to answer the question I asked about the photos it contained - few words but many images. I have been here on HubPages about two years and my "earnings" have yet to reach $100. (It ain't the money, as might be the motivation of slap-dash writing of hubs by those targeted in the above article.)

I do have a simple suggestion as to how HubPages might improve the writings of contributors to this site. Virtually everyone here uses a pen name of some sort (as do I). If we had to identify our submissions using our "real" names, it is quite likely that the improvement of hub content would be both rapid and very apparent to all.

Just saying...

Gus :-)))

TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

I just came across this hub and I think it's every bit as valid today as it was when you originally wrote it. I'm going to share this so other newbies (ok, I've been a member for 2 years but only recently became active) can see this and appreciate it. Thank you, sannyasinman, for writing this hub! Voting up, ect.

LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

Excellent suggestions, maybe we can, as a community, do our best to patrol the site and flag hubs that are low quality or just photos. Otherwise, Hubpages may continue to spiral down or be down-rated by Google. Hope that someone at HP is taking notice. Because as far as I am concerned HP is a great site!

lrohner profile image

lrohner 5 years ago from USA

Sorry to be so late to the party, but I couldn't agree with you more. I can speak a little French, but I certainly wouldn't try to pass myself off as a writer on a French website, so I don't get why so many hubbers defend those from other countries who try to pass themselves off as writers here. I find it rather shameful.

I work as an Editor on another site (yes--some content websites do have editors) and it is an entirely painful process. I usually save the articles by foreigners until after 5:00pm so that I can indulge in a glass of wine first so that I don't lose my mind. But even some of the U.S. writers are horrific. I can publish the good articles and reject the bad ones, but then there are always those that, as you say, a grade school boy wouldn't turn in as homework, but they are technically and usually grammatically correct (or at least for the most part.)

I love all of your suggestions, and thanks for putting this out there.

hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

Even being an Italian hubber I must say that I agree with you as the quality of many hubs is pretty low. The solution is simple: instead of wasting time and money for useless additions like the hop or the hubkarma there should be someone who reviews hubs before publishing, both for English and non-English speakers. Because while I repeatedly said that those desi aunties hubs lower the quality of HP I must say that many low level hubs belong to people whose mother tongue is English and with an author score above 90.

The level of English knowledge is just one point to ponder; I mean what if someone writes with dyslexia? Or has just studied at first grade school? For me if there is quality, a good message and the piece is understandable it's fine. But I agree with you that probably if HP was written in Italian I would say what you said. :)

Very good hub, rated up, beautiful and stumbled.

I hope my English is correct enough. Lol. :)

C.V.Rajan profile image

C.V.Rajan 6 years ago from Kerala, India

I agree with many of your opinions. As an Indian I should say there is plenty of good English available in India but what perhaps flows into websites and blogs is not probably the best or even above-average.

I too have written a hub on this subject a few months ago:



Kind Regards profile image

Kind Regards 6 years ago from Missouri Ozarks - Table Rock Lake

sannyasinman, I agree with you about poor grammar skills. It's so much nicer to read something that flows well. I do like photo hubs though, even if there's little text, so I'd hate to see them go away. I'm not a fan of the heavy marketing tactic taken by many. It's irritating. I do believe it should be an open place for everyone. Just pick and choose what you want to read. I know I don't write for money here. I make more in AdSense from my online resume (go figure!) than I do from my blog or HubPages. I write what I like to write. It's that simple and that's what I like about being here. Kind Regards

sannyasinman profile image

sannyasinman 6 years ago Author

Shinkicker - thank you for presenting a balanced point of view.

Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 6 years ago from Scotland

Excellent Hub

I agree that there should be more quality control. I have been surprised too that high scoring Hubs have poor content and bad English(but not just from Asia)

Hubs full of photographs are just ridiculous.

I also don't like religious preaching on Hubs. Nothing against people's beliefs but I just don't feel this community is the right place for such material.

I think people from abroad should be encouraged to write on Hubpages to offer a more diverse cultural angle on topics. But yes! they should try and ensure that the English is correct before posting.

All the best.

selrach 6 years ago

Agree with you 100% in everything you said.

Glad you had the balls to write this hub, hope hubpages pay attention

cheaptrick profile image

cheaptrick 6 years ago from the bridge of sighs

When I started with HP my writing and spelling Sucked!

Now my spelling is Great!Hmmm...

I'm tired of"how to"Hubs and Lawyers advertising services getting top scores.Creative writing seems to be at the bottom of the barrel here because Hub Metrics measures $or$$or$$$ and that seems to be of paramount importance!Seems that creativity is stifled by Revenue possibility.I understand that many writers pay there bills writing here but I would think that would motivate them to put more effort into there work!Perfectly written Hubs are still Crap if there not Interesting!Blah blah blah Ramble ramble ramble...Snore ZZZZZ

Thanks for bringing this up


2uesday profile image

2uesday 6 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

I looked at the hub hopping feature when it was first available and did n't want to return to it. After reading your hub I took another look at it and found mostly adverts with a few pieces of poetry. Of course it alters over time but - all adverts with a paragraph at the end makes a different impression on people visiting here to a writers site. I have to admit to spending less time on writing Hubs than I did in the past.

I have the feeling that places like HubPages evolve - and which path they take depends on the people who run the site and possibly the 'community' that visit it. It may be that the writers who were more prolific are taking a break; when they see the hubs on here with less effort put into them and their Hubber numbers are not much different.

It would be a pity to see the quality hubs on here swamped by hubs that are just adverts pasted together and a short paragraph of writing as an after thought.

LeonJane profile image

LeonJane 6 years ago from Australia

I totally agree with you hub sannyasinman, and with the rate of new people joining HubPages with user names associated to their business, things are only going to get worse. I admit that I have written a few hubs on marketing items that I probably wouldn't have before I joined HubPages. I did it to try increase revenue, like you said, and I did it with a, "if you can't beat them, join them" mentality. Writing these hubs is a chore and I don't know if I'll do many more in the future.

I get what you say about Hubbers with HubScore from 95 to 100. I have read some of their hubs and have thought to myself, "why did they bother, this information is very thin?" Some of these Hubbers have been here since the beginning and have thousands of followers. I believe their hubs get more attention and go up in rank quickly, even if they are poorly written, because of the volume of followers just clicking on the article. Their followers and individual hub rank seems to grow exponentially, and on a daily basis. It's tough and almost impossible to crack into that stream of exposure.

De Greek I am guilty of writing some poetry on my bodily functions, that is just who I am. I enjoy this as it taps into my creative side. I don’t write these poems for shock value or for popularity. My real life followers know that I can sometimes say this zany stuff to make people laugh. I am in the process of going back over some of these poems and writing more background information on them to get the word count at least over 300 words. By doing this I have noticed some of these poems have gone up in HubScore value from 50’s to 70’s.

I have noticed, by writing on HubPages, my grammar and writing skills have improved. You could argue that this might be the case for our fellow Hubbers from India, China, Malaysia and the Philippines. But like you say sannyasinman there are quite a few shockers as some of these hub are illegible, it is almost like Yoda has written their hubs. Catch my drift do you. Yes, hmmm.

Maybe all hubs have to have at least 300 words period, and definitely no picture gallery only hubs? This should be a function of the hub publish button, i.e. the software should block publishing until this criteria is met.

Sorry for my rambling on, great hub by the way.

sannyasinman profile image

sannyasinman 6 years ago Author

De Greek - what I suggested regarding non-English mother tongue hubbers was that either the hubber him/herself could be pre-preapproved (as would be the case with FP) or if the hubber is not pre-approved then the individual hub would need to be.

So for authors such as FP and others who write well, there would not be a problem.

As another example, I used the "hub hopping" feature for the first time the other day. I "hopped onto 20 hubs. 19 of them were absolute tosh, and number 20 was just, barely, passabe. That is the first and probably the last time that I will waste my time hub hopping.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Tonymac04 is, as usual, correct. Though I see your point, you would have made it better had you referred to the innumerable people here who have English as their mother tongue, yet publish stories which can only be described as atrocious.

One of the best writers on HubPages is Feline Prophet. She is from India, yet her eloquence, her intelligence and talent far surpasses most of the other writers here who have English as their mother tongue.


There is no doubt in my mind that people collude to promote each other’s hubs. But this happens both with English speakers and non English speakers. For example, there is an English speaking Hubber who writes what he calls “poetry” about his bodily functions AND he has a horde of admiring followers. For heaven’s sake, some measure of decorum would not be amiss.

All of us can improve our writing skills and generally benefit from reading Feline Prophet. An Indian based in India and if she is forced to leave, THEN HubPages is done for. Not just because I and others who admire and adore her shall also leave, but because there will be few people left from whom one could learn HOW to write.

cally2 profile image

cally2 6 years ago from Paraparaumu, New Zealand

The drop in quality is one of the reasons I have stopped publishing on Hubpages for the moment. I want to improve mine and other people's writing not read marketing guff. If hubs are not quality controlled then the site will eventually just disappear. I think that it is up to hubbers to use the down thumb button though to maintain the quality. As for E-how moving to Demand Studios that has been a problem for me as I have been blocked from there as I do not live in the States. I don't think that the home IP of the hubber is a good measure to block content. This is about taking back our writing community and being honest when we comment and rate.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 6 years ago from UK

I totally agree with everything you say in this hub. There is too much rubbish out there on the net and if Hubpages allows rubbish to be published here too it will bring down the reputation of the site. Then again, we all have the right to flag hubs as being substandard and we should use that function. If staff agree with us, they will remove the content.

I also agree that a firm grasp of the English language is a requirement. This is not a practice site for someone to practice their English - they can do that on a blog.

mr. daydream profile image

mr. daydream 6 years ago

You made a lot of good points. It do seem to be a lot of garbage and disposable hubs on this site by people with no real imagination that write about literally ANYTHING that comes to mind. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised to see a hub about belly-button lint accumulation (WHO CARES)! There's so many illiterate writers on here who can't truly write, with bad english who writes hubs filled with typos that they don't bother to even go back and correct. It makes you wanna go through hubpages entire catalog and start giving out F's.

Just About It profile image

Just About It 6 years ago from southern CA

eHow had the same problem and has completely revamped their system because of the low quality of articles. They have moved selected authors to Demand Studios and they will only be able to publish new content. If you look at Demand Studios, they have an article approval process in place to prevent lack of quality. Hubpages could follow a similar fate in the future.

Ginn Navarre profile image

Ginn Navarre 6 years ago

I totally agree with Tony and could not have said it better. There are many place's in this world that people can not say or simply write their thoughts and who are we to judge them for their ENGLISH. The blend of all those people are what made our country great.

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I understand where you are coming from - I have been surprised to find Hubs with fairly high scores that have negligable content and are very poorly written.

I am not sure that it is right or fair to block those who are not native English speakers, though. Some of the Hubs I have read from non-Engish speaking writers have been entertaining and even charming.

Also this is a writing site, and so anyone who is interested in writing in English should be encouraged. We need to find a way to do this without putting people down for their lack of command of the language.

Where I fully support you is on the issue of content - Hubs that are merely collections of pretty women (not that I have anything against such pictures in principle) are not appropriate for this site and should be blocked. And those Hubs that are unoriginal and extremely light also need to be somehow challenged.

I think that we as established Hubbers need to be very selective about how we rate the Hubs. Take the rating process seriously and make use of the opportunity to comment on Hubs. Helping those who need some help is a great way to do this. Give people feedback on their writing. They will never learn otherwise.

Thumb sub-standard Hubs down.

I think it is largely up to us to maintain the quality on HubPages, which I still think is the greatest writing site there is. I have tried several and like this one the best by far.

Let's not try to artificially block people but make a positive stand in favour of quality.

Thanks for raising an issue that is well worth debating. I hope many Hubbers respond and we can get a movement going to improve the quality without banning or blocking anyone.

Love and peace


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