Happy Friday, Hubbers!
Next week we will be raising the quality threshold for newly-published Hubs (meaning newly-Featured Hubs will, on the whole, be of higher quality) and will also be giving Featured Hubs (for those with high Hubber Scores) longer grace periods- up to a year for some.
More information on the update can be found on our blog. Our hope is that this gives your Hubs more of an opportunity to gain traction while also improving the overal quality and attractiveness of the content on our site.
I'm very much in favor of having the highest quality of hubs on the site. I've never had a hub fail to pass QAP, but (as Melissa points out), when I personally use the Hopper with the sliders, very few that I see would get a 24 score.
On the outside chance that some good writers might miss the 24 mark (or whatever), is there a way for writers here to see their scores? People might benefit from knowing they did great in use of language, but they need to add more varied capsules (or something) to their hubs.
We're looking into ways for Hubbers to see their scores. Keep in mind that a total score of eight is NOT the minimum bound; it's what we recommend shooting for given our margin or error. Our lower quality bound is much lower than an eight. I'll make that more clear in our messaging- I'm glad you pointed this out!
Thanks for pointing out the fine print! I do like the idea of letting us see our scores - no matter how many years we write (or do anything else in life, for that matter), there are always new ways to improve, or times when we can make a product even better.
Well said, Marcy! I have one hub that I'm particularly proud of that, for the life of me, I can't figure out why it became un-featured. I've tweaked and researched and just haven't solved the puzzle on that one yet. Some guidance on where to improve would be MUCH appreciated on that and all of my articles.
I agree! I have a few that, to my eyes, appear to have all elements of Stellar Hubs, but are getting no traffic - or very little. I suspect older hubs will not go through QAP until they're idled and we edit them. And I also suspect some (maybe quite a few) will get good scores but still not get blessed by the Traffic Fairy. I'm wondering if some of those are trying to compete with too many other sites, or with sites that have paid ads at the top of Google's search results.
I don't know if you have done this already Marcy, but you can always go through those hubs that have low to no traffic, maybe run them through a program like Inbound writer to not only check your keyword competition, but also density, and maybe even pick up on a few keywords that have lower competition but good popularity. I have more information about the program in my keywords article if you would like to check it out.
Thanks - I will check it out. I have not yet run programs on keyword density, so your suggestion may indeed help! One thing I've noticed is that the traffic increases can come many months later. As a new Hubber here (only one year), I'm finally seeing growth in some of the earliest hubs that were slower to take off. I'm glad the site is allowing more time for us to get traffic. And I'm also glad they're upwardly adjusting quality thresholds.
I have noticed that (increase of traffic on hubs that have been around longer) myself, and am also quite glad HP is adjusting the QAP. Hopefully it will give those hubs that have high quality a chance to gain some traffic before becoming un-featured, yet keep the webspam out of the picture.
I've had a number of hubs fall into the "unfeatured" graveyard--some of them i've tweaked a bit, they were ressurected--temporarily, and went back to unfeatured again within a couple of weeks..so, it's not worth my time to play guessing games.
My assessment is that they are not being searched because people are not searching for things they should be searching for in order to be well-informed citizens and voters; i.e., educational pieces about how corporations and government and our very educational system itself, really work.
Everyone would rather keep their blinders on and live in a bubble of fantasy... If they would rather search for articles on the latest teenage heartthrobs or the latest infomercial gadget made in China, I can't fix that...and I dread to think what this preoccupation with such shallow topics means for the future of this country...
So, I will probably take my educational pieces out of this platform and put them into an e-book....
I understand your woes dizzy. I usually have 800-1000 visitors a day, for which I am always grateful, but I have 120ish Hubs up, some personal pieces, but mostly educational articles I spent a lot of time researching. It is disheartening to know that these quality articles are the ones that get the least hits because they're not wallowing in the shallow consumerism that most people seem to like staring at for hours on end. It is not a problem with Hubpages... it's a problem with a society. I swear intellectualism is being actively discouraged and increasingly abandoned while increasing levels of stupidity are encouraged for our entertainment. I do not want to live in a future of fools.
I am writing a couple e-books now and wish you all the success in your future endeavors. Perhaps e-books are where it's at.
I am excited about this. I am planning to write more these days after my busy job in school.
"and will also be giving Featured Hubs (for those with high Hubber Scores) longer grace periods". So much has been said about Hubber scores and that "they do not really matter", some even ignore them. The fact that some new authors with few hubs, few followers ,few views, few accolades etc...often achieve a high Hubber score makes us think that a Hubber score does really matter in the eyes of HP as well as perhaps being "misinterpreted" by new visitors to mean that an author must really be good since his/her Hubber score is high.
Why not change the way that a Hubber score is calculated to take into account : number of featured hubs, total views, total hubs, time on site,total comments, accolades etc...?
Sorry if this was already mentioned. I tried to read through this thread and see if anyone else brought this up, but what stood out to me in that blog post was:
"Featured Hubs will be given a grace period between 30 days to one year based on Hubber Score."
The FAQ attached to the blog post only talks about "high" and "low" hubber scores. What's high? What's low? Is it a sliding scale? Will we be given a little more information so we can understand how our Hubber score impacts the grace period? Can we get some specific numbers?
I noticed the Hubber scores on some of my subdomains plummeting to their lowest levels ever. It seemed odd, but I didn't much care because Hubber score never really mattered for much. Now it seems like it does.
This sounds like a great idea, but hopefully there will be some more info coming forth so we can all understand the rules of the road a little better.
This is a good point - especially since people are encouraged to have their 'social' or public presence here through only one profile. So if someone has several profiles, all other subdomains will suffer due to not posting on forums or commenting, etc.
Also, even if Hubbers were encouraged to comment, etc. via each subdomain, people with multiple subdomains would need to duplicate their busy work in order to have a higher Hubber score.
One thing that has been mentioned is that the score will (soon?) reflect quality more than it does now. This will help tremendously if someone is a strong writer and produces good work, and has multiple personalities here.
I wonder how that will affect older accounts that have a lot of Hubs that never went through the QAP. For example, say you have a bunch of really well-written Hubs that have been sitting around untouched for two years, getting traffic and making sales, just humming along on their own. Since they were never rated, I wonder how they'd figure into a new Hubber score formula that takes quality into account.
If they are getting traffic I guess Hubber score wouldn't really matter for those Hubs anyway, but it would impact any new Hubs written on that account..
Maybe I'm just thinking too much but it seems like it's suddenly in our best interest to understand how our Hubber scores are calculated, and what we can do it influence them.
Apparently, making friends, or publishing hubs too quickly, can cause a dramatic decline in hubber score.
Well, based on the really bad accounts we have all spotted with "Hubbers" who have fairly decent scores, have been here only a few weeks & have 'published' several hubs that are copied or spun content, I truly wonder how the scores are derived.
That was then . . . but what about now that the calculation has been readjusted? Could there now be other reasons our score might drop?
I have two subdomains that dropped over the past few days, and I don't make friends or publish much on either.
From the learning centre:
"As you spend time on the site, you'll see that your personal Hubber Score will go up and down. This is not something to worry about, especially because it's nothing that you can particularly control on a day-to-day basis. Focus on writing good Hubs, ignore the score, and it shall improve in no time."
Maybe it will improve (after its been modified), but it would seem to be a poor criteria on which to judge the "Grace Period" category.
"Hubs by Hubbers with high Hubber Scores will only need to demonstrate they can win over a small handful of search hits per week, around a dozen per month, or a little over 50 per year. Hubs with lower Hubber Scores may have to prove they can win up to twice as many search hits during their Hubs' grace periods to prove their worth." FAQ
All these categories and classes and varying outcomes is beyond me.
=> Add a dash of mystery about QAP "pass marks" etc.
=> A dash of old hubs starting to get QAPed
=> A sprinkle of edited hubs getting Re-QAPed
Ho Hum! I think I'll give up on this one, and just deal with the "Idled Gems" as they pop up into view, whatever the cause.
Sigh! Writing on HP used to be such a simple pleasure!
Thanks for these changes. I really think it will help the featured/idled program be much more beneficial to my traffic as a whole.
Again, thanks for hearing our woes,moans and rants and turning them into something positive. For me personally, with the goals established and a longer grace period given,I am much more motivated to start writing and publishing hubs again.Now I can get the ten hubs in various stages of completion done and published and off my plate finally knowing I have longer than two months to gain that traction!
Yay for higher quality standards (I've read some real losers, but most have been excellent). Also, yay for allowing a specific hub of acceptable quality a longer timeframe to mature before un-featuring it. I do think it would help us all if we could know by what criteria we are being judged: we can't improve in the ways you want if we don't know what those ways are, specifically and quantified (with numbers/percents). Raising the quality of our community raises everyone's work value, both literally and figuratively.
I just spent some time hopping four or five hubs. May I say that the QAP is desperately needed!!! Not one of the hubs was "featured" quality in my book. I can understand why Google has downgraded sites that willy-nilly allow people to publish, and I'm glad to let my hubs go through QAP if it helps weed out these poor quality hubs. Yikes!!!
Simone, I hate to go into numbers here but from what I read does that mean you are raising the standard to an 8 average across the board (that would be a twenty-four total score...minus the substance adjustment)? Or does that mean "don't bother us unless you honestly think your hub looks like this"?
I'm just asking because a 24 score requirement would pretty much decimate HP. If that's what you're doing, cool. It's your guy's baby and all... just saying that I might give one in 40 or so hubs (and that's a reach) a 24 or higher rating.
That is NOT the case, so I'm glad you brought this up quickly so I can amend our messaging to make that clear.
Our lower bound for minimum quality to be Featured is much lower; we just encourage you to shoot for an eight because there is a margin of error, and we want Hubbers to know what they should do to get very predictable results.
So what is the threshold to be featured? I definitely read the blog post as saying that you had to score 8.
Even I was frightened by what the forums were going to look like after this change, and I usually enjoy a good blood bath (figuratively speaking).
In a subsequent post, she said 6 was the threshold, but 8 is what we should strive for. Of course, since QAP is done by humans, it will help us once they implement a way to let us see the scores.
Thanks. That is very confusing, if you "pass" at 6 then why say it is 8? Sure everybody should aim as high as possible, after all what we really want is to impress Google.
Threshold means threshold, if you score under it you're not featured, if you score above it you are.
Interesting that only 1 in 40 get a score of 8!
Reading between the lines I reckon a 3 might be OK.
Stick Man rules the site. I think you should have your own slider category.
"For hubs with original 'media,' which level of artistic quality and reader engagement is evident?"
1-2: What media? I thought my screen was dirty.
3-4: I think my three-year-old niece drew something like this on her wall.
5-6: This is art? Hubber should not quit his/her day job just yet.
7-8: Sort of interesting, if I rotate the screen a bit. No, wait . . .
9-10: Outstanding & appealing. Holds attention almost as well as Stick Man!
The blog confused all of us - it focuses on eight as the target we should aim for, to be 'safe' in terms of quality. And it briefly says the threshold is lower - so most of us didn't catch the fine print.
Dang - if six is the new, increased standard, what in the world was the old one? Yup, sounds like an increase was a good idea.
This 24, 8 business...what the heck are you talking about? I've been here more than a year and have never heard about this. What am I missing and can somebody please explain this to me? Also, I was not aware that publishing a bunch of hubs quickly would lower one's hubber score. Why would it? This makes no sense to me.
What is arbitrary about setting quality standards?
Every day or so there is another change. Remember "Delete all of your answers and questions"? You must use slideshows, maps, polls, move to sub-domains, idled Hubs, etc. All knee-jerk reactions to diminished readership.
Improving quality is always good. Frequent random changes, not so much.
Frequent change is different from arbitrary change.
The business of internet content writing is constantly changing. If you want to write in a pretty much static market, then print publication is where you want to be... even there changes happen, just more slowly.
Thank you for the comment, MelissaBarrett.
Bill, please note that this change in policy is one we have been referring to in the Forums for the past three weeks. This change is also in response to repeated Hubber requests.
I read the blog post, and am curious about one thing: Why is it that search traffic is the only source of traffic to determine whether or not a Hub has a "heartbeat" and determine its "featured" status?
From the blog post:
The reason I ask is because I have a recipe Hub that I could see was in danger of becoming idle. Changes to it were not working to get Google search traffic, so I decided to pin it on Pinterest and now it is getting traffic. It has had 95 views in the last 30 days (not from search), but it just got idled.
From my understanding from Google's Webmaster Central Blog and various videos by Matt Cutts, social signals matter to Google. If social signals and traffic from social sites can help a web page or Hub rank better in Google, why is their value being discounted by HubPages? Perhaps I am misunderstanding something.
Are you saying it's possible for a Hub that gets 3K views from Pinterest (or any non-search source) in 30 days but less than a dozen from search to become non-featured?
I can't (and won't) answer for HP, but I finally 'got it' regarding the unfeatured thing. Hubs will still be viewable here on the site, but it turns out that Google downgrades a site or its subdomains if there's not a sufficient amount of Google search traffic. Not fair at all, I agree. And it also makes it harder to even GET the stupid traffic - unless you do something like pay Google to put your site at the top of the page for every topic you write.
It sounds like HP is doing what many other sites have done - they're keeping search engines from seeing hubs that aren't getting a lot of traffic directly from the searches, but they're still, of course, published and getting revenue for the writer and for HP. Any hits you're getting from Pinterest or whatever will not be interrupted. As HP has said - a view is a view. They're just trying to keep the entire site as competitive as possible in the search engines.
Also - if any of us feel we need another swipe at getting traffic from Google, all we have to do is to edit the hub and it is again 'featured.' I'm okay with all of that. It took me a while to get to that point, but now that I understand it, I feel it makes sense.
BTW - since all of this started, I began updating and tweaking my hubs & watching for the 'dreaded idle' thing. It's not that hard to do, and my overall traffic has greatly increased.
Again - I am NOT trying to answer for HP - just speaking up to say I finally 'get it' now.
To me Idled hubs are in the Graveyard - they still get visitors, flowers, memories, but they are dead and buried. Lazarus perhaps?
Marcy - Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I understand that my non-featured Hub is still visible to other traffic sources, but I am curious, where have you read that Google downgrades a site or subdomain for insufficient Google traffic? I have never specifically heard that before. I know low quality pages can cause issues, but I wasn't aware of what you said about a low search traffic page causing a site or subdomain to be downgraded.
This is what Google says,
"One other specific piece of guidance we've offered is that low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages into more useful pages, or moving low quality pages to a different domain could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content."
That same Google blog post goes on to describe what high-quality content is. Not that the list is all-inclusive, but no where do they mention that low search traffic pages are synonymous with low quality pages. http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot. … ality.html
Like I said, now you've got me curious...
Is this true Marcy?
What you stated: "It sounds like HP is doing what many other sites have done - they're keeping search engines from seeing hubs that aren't getting a lot of traffic directly from the searches, but they're still, of course, published and getting revenue for the writer and for HP."
If hubs are idled but can still derive money from HP ads, I truly wouldn't care since I earn more from HP than from Adsense. I thought that if it was idled, all the ads were no longer there.
Peggy - I'm hoping Simone or Paul E. can jump in and clarify better than I can - but there was an interview with Paul E. very recently on a site that covers SEO issues. The interview was the last in a series of three, and was a Post-Panda thing. I believe I recall Paul saying that other sites were also un-featuring pages as a response to Panda (and Penguin).
Then, somewhere else, recently (this was on the forum, I believe), we heard that a view is a view, and we still get revenue for those views. So if someone has a great hub that gets good traffic from Pinterest, or whatever, but for some reason it is not getting hits through searches in Google, it will still get views (and the revenue from the views), even if it is not 'featured' here - meaning not seen by Google.
On the other hand (again, my impression), if it remains featured, despite having no Google traffic, search engines can lower the rankings of the entire subdomain and/or site. I guess the search engines (and we all know they're dumb when it comes to quality as a human would discern it) are programmed to create rankings based on Google traffic. Or something like that.
So it makes sense (finally - and believe me, it took me a while), to create an internal system that is geared to protect the entire site from having lower rankings by not letting Google 'see' those pages. Also, since the truly active writers are paying attention here, all we need to do is to refresh and edit our content after next week, and we will have a longer window of time to build up Google traffic.
That sure works for me. I'm okay having my writing sink or swim on its own, and I like the idea that any pages with low traffic that can reduce our overall rankings won't be 'seen.' Tons of 'writers' here haven't been on the site for years - it's good news that those pages won't hurt us.
If I have this wrong, I hope Simone or someone will clarify.
Thanks for your reply Marcy. I am all for having HubPages be a site that attracts top notch writers and to eliminate the poorly written hubs no matter who writes them.
Off topic but pertaining to the social media traffic...
I have asked this question many times and have not gotten a definitive answer. If one agrees to joining Pinterest, do one's photos become public domain and one no longer has the copyrights regarding them? That is the reason I have not yet joined Pinterest. I know that I am probably missing some traffic.
We considered factoring social media traffic into the decision to continue to Feature a Hub, but decided that the longer time we are allowing to acquire search traffic was sufficient. In the case of your Hub that saw Pinterest, for example, our longer timeframe would have probably given enough time for that social traffic to translate into concrete SEO benefits that would also lead to more search traffic to the Hub (and therefore keep it Featured).
It is just unfortunate that this all happened to your Hub before our longer grace period rolls out. I do hope you quickly edited it and added some improvements so that when our longer grace periods DO roll out next week, your Hub will see the success it deserves.
TL;DR: A very socially popular Hub is likely to garner the trickle of search traffic that is necessary. If it doesn't, it won't be hindered by being not Featured anyway.
Thanks Simone. Whether or not the Hub is featured won't impact its new-found Pinterest traffic, but I certainly am going to take another stab at editing it to try to improve its rank in SERPs.
It appears my goals have been all wrong then. Since the first hit by Google in 2011, my goal has been to find traffic that doesn't depend on Google. Then if they hit me again, I won't end up without any traffic at all. I guess I need a change of tactic.
" social traffic to translate into concrete SEO benefits that would also lead to more search traffic to the Hub"
I would be interested to learn how this works, apart from garnering more links, => when you get a moment.
Actually, me too. My traffic is almost exclusively Facebook related as that's where my target audience networks. They don't Google. Search traffic doesn't play a role in my target audience, yet by idling my hubs that don't get much search traffic, it is also closing down the opportunity for someone to post my article on FB or a forum where it can get more love. I'm wondering if social media shouldn't be considered in the "will it stay or will it go" formula. Especially since a view is a view whether it comes from a search engine or social media.
Media high quality.
Does that mean the death of the stickman?
Here's a sample...
Setting the 'pass mark' at the distinction level, even if its aspirational, and has been qualified, will and has created unnecessary confusion. You can't set a pass mark, and then say don't contact us unless your hub has distinction level quality, and expect authors to comply, especially when the authors don't have access to their scores, and don't know what is wrong with their hubs and what to fix.
I'll leave my comments until the outcome appears.
One quick question:
Does the upgraded quality score apply to old hubs, or hubs that have been edited and so QAPed? That is, not just to new hubs.
The implication is that a 'good' old HUB may not pass, but may be getting good traffic and earning the author and HP income.
Does this mean established hubbers who wrote hubs in the past, that are getting income from 'good old hubs' can expect their hard won earnings (being highly ranked in the SERPS), to fall as their little gems get idled AND it is going to be a lot tougher to revive them? What do you change if they are Working Well? If you edit an 'Old Gem' to freshen it up, it will be treated as new, QAPed and Zapped! Endless edits awaits established writers?
The higher score requirements will not apply to older Hubs that are edited in the beginning, but eventually they will. For starters, we're only holding newly-published Hubs to the higher standards.
We decided to set a score to shoot for because otherwise, we'd be forced to say "HEY GUYS! WE'RE RAISING THE QUALITY BAR, BUT WE'RE NOT TELLING YOU WHERE THE BAR IS OR HOW HIGH IT MIGHT BE! GOOD LUCK, SUCKAS!!!"
... And that's not good.
Yes, Hubbers don't know what their Hubs exact scores are right now (we're working on that), but at least there is a table one can use as a reference point. That's something, innit?
Sorry this is exactly what you have done:
""HEY GUYS! WE'RE RAISING THE QUALITY BAR, BUT WE'RE NOT TELLING YOU WHERE THE BAR IS OR HOW HIGH IT MIGHT BE! GOOD LUCK, SUCKAS!!!"
This is like blindfold high jumping - We don't know where the bar is, but we are told its pretty darn high! Even when we fail to clear the bar, we still don't know how high it is, or how high we jumped. All we know is that we failed.
Why not say its 6+ BUT we urge you to go for 8+ to ensure you cover all the bases and guarantee your hub survives.
Enough from me - Cheers,
OK, it's 6+ BUT we urge you to go for 8+ to ensure you cover all the bases and guarantee your Hub survives.
You're right. Lower bounds are helpful.
Again...please tell me what these numbers represent or where I can find this info. Also, I do not "social" at all, nor do I want to...does this mean my work will die on HP eventually? The only social connections I get are from hubbers who like my work and share it on FB, etc.
They are the scores for the QAP process - your hub scores between 1-10 for each of substance, organisation and grammar and mechanics. Have a look at the hub hopper - it uses these scores.
I think it means the 'slider' ratings on the new Hopper. You can see these by going to the Hopper and viewing the current version (not the 'classic,' which is the one many of us like). There are three sliders to the left of the hub, and they rate various quality elements. Hope this helps?
As for the social activity on HP and how it affects our Hubber score - I hope they will clarify this a bit. If future plans are for the score to better reflect quality, it would be nice if it prevents people from artificially inflating their Hubber scores by posting on the forum, etc. Our primary contribution to the site is the quality of the hubs we write, and that should be weighted more than anything.
I have decided to defer on my planned hub on How to Butter Toast.
And drop us a note when HP is ready to start torturing our older hubs, so I'll know to stop editing them.
Damn. Buttered toast is one of my favorite things in the world.
And we'll be sure to give a heads up! Though we do not intend to screw people over with the update; by the point we roll that out, we also hope to have released much more clear feedback on where the quality of one's Hub is and where it needs to be.
paradigm...a more useful hub might be on how to keep buttered toast from falling butter-side-down when it gets dropped....
Imagine what it would be like if authors knew the QAP scores for their articles and the Pass Mark to get Featured.
Lets say the Pass Mark is an average of 6+ (average of the 3 QAP components)
Lets say and author has hubs with scores of 6.5, 7.5, 8.2, 8.5, 7.7
What would be the benefits?
# An author could see what works in their genre, by comparing their own hubs with various scores - What could I do to improve my 6.5 one to 7.5 to 8.0?
# If the author submitted a new hub and did not get featured with a score of 5.0 they could edit it and try to lift it to 7 or 8. If it was featured after the edits with a score of 7.5 they would know they were on the right track and what to do in the future.
# If a NEW hub came back with a 4.0 score they could say OK this one is probably hopeless and probably not worth re-editing due to lack of authority, etc..
# If one came back with a 7.8 they could say OK I'm on the right track.
It has been argued that knowing the scores would lead to the following
# Gaming the system people would only do what they need to just get it over the line. But in a sense this is exactly what people do now. They don't know what's wrong, or what to fix - so they do a few random things, such as add an extra image, a video, add another paragraph or two. They may waste a lot of time on no-hoppers. They learn very little.
# It would open up an avalanche of queries about marginal hubs. But HP already has a rule which says don't contact us unless your hub is stellar quality of likely deserves a QAP score of 8+ - probably only applies to 2% (1 in 40) hubs featured.
# HP pushes the idea that it wants authors to write better hubs than they would if they new the score. The idea is than if people don't know the pass mark they will be tricked into making better hubs that they need to pass.
There are huge benefits in knowing the score. It educates authors who can improve their craft (IMO). Tell it Like it Is!
I agree with you that people like you and I would benefit from knowing our hub's score. We could learn how to write better hubs and gain even better quality.
However, we've all seen people in the forums complaining that their fantastic hub wasn't featured, and they don't know why. When you go and visit the hub, it's terrible: poor writing, no media, no substance, etc. The simple fact is that writers often see their own work as much better than it really is (myself included, I'm afraid). If the scores were known to the writers, they would be up in arms that people would rate their hub (which obviously is one of the best hubs ever written) so low. The forums would be flooded with complaints. In my business, I find very few people can take constructive criticism with the correct attitude.
Unfortunately, I have to agree with HP on this. It would open a huge can of worms, and while it would help a few hubbers who are looking for critique (like myself), it would mainly upset the masses.
Oh, I totally agree! We're working toward that. Bear with us.
My concern is the "Who" is doing the scoring on our hubs. What if someone "scores" on hubs they have no real interest in? How could they give a sensible rating to content they have no interest in? I gave up using the hopper because so much of the hubs there had no interst for me at all. So, how could I rate them properly? I do not rate material I find boring simply because I have no interest in them. That would not be fair to the writer.
Is it the MTurk? ( I sure hope not after all I have read in the forums about that!) Is it Hubteam? Hub members? An outside source?
In general, it is MTurk raters.
I score on hubs I have no interest in all the time. My interest doesn't effect the score, as I am grading on substance rather than subject. Grammar and organization are unaffected by interest as well.
We are closely monitored and tested frequently to ensure accuracy in our rating. Those who slip below a certain accuracy lose their ability to rate hubs.
And yes, there are times when a hub bores me to tears. Generally (but not always) those actually rater higher in substance... if you think about it if there is enough material to bore somebody to tears that isn't interested in the subject, then likely there is enough material to answer the question of a searcher that WOULD be.
And don't believe everything you read in the forums about Turkers. Some of us even speak English.
lol, Habla English? Thanks for your response Melissa. I have seen you post about MTurk. Sounds like you take your rating seriously. That is good you do.
Your interest doesn't affect the score Melissa but does your grammar and spelling?
Don't worry, I'm far more anal with other people's "polished" writing than I am with my forum posts
What happened to the word fastidious? It's much less coarse than the term which seems to have replaced it.
*Smiles* Fastidious brings to mind old ladies in white cotton gloves drinking tea in gardens. While it is a lovely picture, it in no way describes anything about my personality...including my grammar. Trust me, I picked the right word to describe myself.
I do know many fastidious individuals who also would be upset at the word anal which, I believe, is one of the reasons that I would call them fastidious
Hub hopping, hub scores, and all that help the HubPages staff and software to rank hubs and choose which get featured and how prominently and to keep up the overall quality of the site, but they do nothing to help hubbers learn to write better hubs. What would do that is criticism. I am way more likely to improve the quality of a hub if I am told that the title is too long and spammy or that a block of text is too long or that an important sentence is awkward then if I am given some number. And HubPages provides no practical way for hubbers to get peer to peer criticism.
Saying anything negative in a hub comment is very inappropriate. Any fault is gone as soon as the hub is edited, but any negative comment remains forever. I have used private e-mails to call attention to a misspelled word or a typo, but it would be presumptuous for a stranger to use e-mail for substantial criticism. Hubbers can ask for a hub to be critiqued in a forum, but I have never felt advanced enough to use that, and I don't know what sorts of hubs are appropriate to post there.
What's needed is an easy way for any hub to be critiqued by any reader.
I recommend that each hub have two different kinds of comments, with the option to use neither, either, or both. I don't recall where, but a while back I saw a feature on some website that might work at HubPages -- him and himunder each post where it says Comment there is a little box that if clicked (there is a line of text under the box explaining this) makes the comment be for the author's eyes only. If hubs had that feature, then I (or another reader) could leave one comment for the author and everyone about how heartwarming and beautifully written a hub is and, if called for, another comment for the author alone suggesting one or more correction or improvement. This could be an optional feature that a hubber could opt into or not for all of his or her hubs or for a particular hub. Just an idea. I have been in critique creative writing groups, and peer to peer criticism is hugely helpful in improving the quality of a work.
You can set the comments on your hub to require your approval before being visible to the public.
So I leave a criticism for you. No one can see it but you. When you've read it, delete it. Plus, I can always leave another (at the same time, perhaps) intended for public viewing should you choose to approve it.
While I disagree that we "do nothing to help hubbers learn to write better hubs" (Learning Center, WTI, contests, the Apprenticeship Program, etc.), I do think we could do more to facilitate peer-to-peer criticism and recommendations and we're developing features to make that happen. It's just a matter of bandwidth at this point; we have one feature that is 50% complete and right now our engineers' plates are too full with bug fixes and other projects to complete it.
I stand corrected re all the HubPages staff and system do to help hubbers write better. Best of all is that we are allowed and encouraged to make corrections, updates, and improvements to a hub after it is published. I'm pleased that features to facilitate peer to peer criticism are forthcoming.
I really like the idea of peer criticism and ideas. There are many talented writers. We all know how hard it is to edit and proof your own work sometimes. I want my writing to be better. I want my online presence to be stronger.
I've seen hub authors post from time to time asking for criticism of a piece that is not doing well but there doesn't seem to be a regular way to get that feedback.
It's also hard to know who would be receptive to it and who wouldn't.
They are doing that over at Infobarrel. They started a forum thread just for that purpose, but they are using a system that answers questions. An example would be "Does this hub cover the topic completely enough to answer all of the searchers questions?" Infobarrel is smaller than Hubpages though, and a thread like this might just be too long. We could give it a try.
Quality is really a matter of opinion. What is a good quality article for some people is not what others think is good quality. I wish we could dispense with this bull, Hub pages and Google are commercial firms that depend on advertising for revenue. So a good quality hub, is a hub that attract advertising and sales for the advertisers. That is the bottom line, that is the way we all make money and that is what is driving everything.
Consider that if there is at least - a minimum standard, a base level of quality as you will, then all the advertising in the world comes to naught.
Would you visit a website, more than once, that has a trashy, spun, poor quality information article that you found high up in your search on page 1 of Google?
Quality of an article may be an opinion but is good quality something you search for yourself? Do you find informative, well researched, clearly conceived and delivered information in an article that answers maybe more than the one question you were searching? If you find information of value, in great detail and find you bookmarking a site to pursue in future would that be not just an article but a site of value to yourself?
If you answer yes to all of these questions, then you are like many others using the internet and are traffic to sites like these. Without this kind of traffic then there is little to no value of this site.
If there are no base parameters to generate traffic then all the advertising dollars would be poorly spent by advertisers to a site with little traffic. Having articles published with commercial interests is an obvious benefit to the site holders and to the writers who publish on Hubpages.
It sounds like there is a high positive correlation between the quality metrics that HP is using (I assume the MTurk ratings) and the views received through search engines.
I would be interested to see some of the stats that you have gathered.
Note: I am sure that there are plenty of examples of a hub that has a high quality score and NO views, and low quality score hub with lots of views. I suspect that these will be the ones that get LOTS of attention in the forums.
Thank you for the update! I've got the beginnings of a hub sketched out but was hesitant about trying to publish. Now that I know it will be given more time to mature, I feel better about putting it here. Looking forward to getting back to writing again!
Does this mean that I have to start using "to", "two", and "too" correctly?
Hey, Simone -
I just took a fun ride through the (new) Hopper, and it occurs to me that the criteria in the sliders can be a bit conflicting. Some sliders rate two different things, but the same slider is used. While things are being tweaked, can someone take a look through 'user' eyes at the current table and see if it could be clarified a bit?
BTW - I rated a bunch of hubs, and either you guys have a lot of 'ringers' in their today, or there's sure a bunch of junk coming through the pipeline. Maybe one out of the whole batch would be featured, based on my slides.
This sounds like one of the most worthy changes that HubPages has introduced. Certainly it is good that greater quality is being emphasised in the decision to 'feature' a hub, and equally it is good that hubs of quality are to be given more time to establish a healthier flow of traffic. Hopefully such measures will improve the overall standard of hubs featured on Google and other search engines. That in turn can only be beneficial to the reputation of both HubPages and HubPage authors.
Just discovered 4 of my idled hubs have been re-featured, thank you to whoever was responsible!
A very pleasant surprise.
Will they stay featured or is this just temporary?
I haven't read the entire thread are high-scoring hubs immune from the idling process?
After reading this, I went in and found one of my first hubs has been refeatured. As it was a really short hub and never did well, I went ahead and deleted it just now. It's good they are going back through the old hubs and putting them through the QAP again, but do beware. If you have an idled hub you don't want featured, you might unpublish or delete it. I had several others already refeatured too.
I know what you mean by poor quality hubs. I hub a lot on health and some of the stuff I read is not very good. The internet is the new family doctor so when writing about health you need to be extra careful. Some stuff I have read is just frightening and people do not know what they are talking about.
I have a degree to back up my knowledge and years of experience working in the industry so when I see "off the wall " recommendations I just go . . . oh dear. Herbs can do as much damage as conventional medication. Some of my comments on certain hubs have been rather sharp I am afraid.
Quality is a really, really vague term and can mean anything, as it is subjected to personal opinion. For instance a person who always vote Republican is going to think that any article written by a Democrat is a really poor quality. The same is true, the other way around. So quality in the end is going to judged on personal opinion and preferences.
I'm not sure that's always true; certainly 'opinion' pieces such as your Rep/Dem example will have a subjective experience of quality depending on the reader, however here I think that we're looking at more objective measures of quality based on the skills of the writer. For example:
Spelling / Grammar / Punctuation
High quality: A hub that has correct spelling, punctuation, formatting and excellent use of the English language.
Medium quality: A hub that has one or two spelling mistakes, occassional errors in punctuation and some small mistakes in use of English
Poor quality: A hub that is obviously spun or translated with multiple errors in spelling, significant issues with grammar and a very poor grasp of the English language
Facts / Analysis
High quality: A hub that presents facts in a relevant, interesting way, providing context and analysis that is easy to follow and understand
Medium quality: A hub that presents the facts in an uninspired way and presents little analysis or original insight
Poor quality: A hub that is factually incorrect and inconsistent and where analysis is misinformed or mistaken
Presentation / Approach
High quality: A hub that uses varied, rich media, uses subheadings to convey and build on a message and takes the reader through everything that they need to know
Medium quality: A hub that has a standard presentation, uses a couple of different capsules and occasional media to get a point across
Poor quality: A hub that just presents a wall of text or that has inconsistent / incorrect formatting
Admittedly, people's exact ratings (via Hub Hopper) of what is high or low quality will vary depending on how strictly they view the hub and how they apply quality guidelines, but I do think that quality is something that can be measured according to a particular framework. And certainly the HP framework uses ratings from multiple MTurkers / Hubbers to come up with an overall quality score.
The real question of course is how much relevance HPs perception of quality has to Google, and how they align. (i.e. will the changes that HP is making ultimately provide a better experience for users which *should* translate into better search results?)
Ultimately, that's the million dollar question and I suspect we'll have to wait a bit longer for the answer.
Here's a couple of my observations, for what they are worth.
I do hope the spelling accommodates more than just US spelling. For Brits and Aussies, colour, favour, flavour, tyres. etc are the correct spelling of our words. (Are you aiming for excellent use of the 'English language'? Or excellent use of the 'American language'. Hopefully both.)
I have only had one hub idled. It was a very early one. When I went to edit it, I discovered there was an empty photo capsule in there. Removed the capsule, it was featured again and remains featured. I have read a lot of pages in the Learning Center (incorrect spelling for any Australian, we spell it Centre) but I don't recall seeing a most basic checklist that recommends looking for empty capsules.
Regarding hubber scores, mine has peaked at 99. I notice that it drops whenever I have a few hubs in progress and unpublished. My published hubs can be stronger than the day before, but as soon as I start creating new hubs, I know I will drop a point or 2, or 3. lol.
My last thought for now is a question ...
What is a hubber supposed to do when you read a hub that you know is inaccurate and really rather useless, (and sometimes irresponsible, bordering on dangerous) but someone has looked at a page in a book or read someone else's online article and attempted to set themselves up as an authority? There's no original photo to indicate that they've ever actually seen what they're writing about (at least not in real life) and other hubbers are saying "Wow, that's great! I'll follow your wonderful advice!"
Is that just 'the nature of the internet'? I tend to just steer away from the page and say nothing ... but I wonder what the official line is.
Well, that feels better. Thanks for listening.
Well, I'm a Brit, running an Editorial and Proofreading business, married to an American who is our chief editor, so I do see this from both sides! My natural go to is British English (And that's what my hubs tend to be written in), but I certainly wouldn't mark a hub down for being in either British or American English, and I don't think Mturkers would either.
I am not sure it matters if the hub is written in American, British, Irish or Australian English. It seems to be it refers to general quality of information provided and presentation. I know that a lot of information is copied as people are desperate to make a buck on the internet. There seems to be a certain group of writers, or copiers, who make this a game. I wrote an article on the Ebola virus once (not on HubPages) and it was copied by someone from the Indian subcontinent. He took the article as his and stated he had worked in the same lab as myself. Big mistake - very few people have actually worked with the virus. He also said in his article that garlic can cure the virus. No way. My main concern has always been for health information as doctor internet does not have a medical degree nor a relevant PhD. A so called simple supplement such as fish oil can also cause severe internal bleeding when used in the wrong quantities. There are many talented writers on writing sites but I think we can safely say that we all enjoy reading quality.
Good news about the multi-cultural English language approach! lol.
In the spirit of helping lift the quality of hubs here, I have just completed rating a bunch of hubs using the new hub hopper. Here's my feedback ...
First one, I gave the author 10/10 for everything. It was brilliant! But it was only when I was scoring the second one that I realised I had made a mistake clicking the box next to 'Is this creative writing?' at the very top. I had, in fact, ticked that box for the first author because I thought it was extremely creative. As in fresh thoughts, presented in a creative style, that sort of thing.
Now, of course, I'm kicking myself because it certainly wasn't a poem. Is that what you are meaning by the question about 'creative writing'? Maybe even a little definition option next to that question would be helpful.
There was another one that I really liked. The author presented a really interesting argument and I think lots of people would enjoy reading it. Sadly, it failed to meet the prerequisites for a good score because the entire piece was one long paragraph.
Is there any chance you could offer us a box at the bottom to give a clue to new authors about why they failed to meet the criteria? I would have written "Use some sub-headings, divide your article into paragraphs, and add a couple more photos and this hub will be excellent!"
I flagged two because I thought they required attention from HP staff, and I confess I gave abysmal scores to a couple. I would have happily written a comment explaining why.
Also worth noting, I choose to use Firefox. If there was something written in the bottom of the scoring box on the left hand side, I couldn't read it. No way to scroll down. I like to think there might have been a box that said "Skip this hub". I didn't notice that option on the page. There was one topic I chose not to score, so I just hit 'exit'. (If I am blind or stupid, please just tell me where the 'skip' button is!)
I did take a look at one hub using the 'classic' version, and I can see the advantage of the new hub hopper in principle. Gee, what a task you have trying to lift the quality of hubs. I admire the effort you are making.
That is a very interesting and useful post LongTimeMother. I hope HP staff won't miss it and follow your suggestions. I have been shying away from hopping for the very reasons you mention, like not being able to explain why I would score a hub down.
I have 2 questions:
1. How much time did you spend Hub Hopping on this occasion?
2. Do we get rewarded in any way for spending hours trying to improve the site as a whole by asking useful questions, making suggestions on the forums, and Hub Hopping? Or does it all have to be done out of the goodness of our busy hearts?
Hi Sue. My previous comment here was 2 hours ago. Time shows my last comment was 15 minutes ago, so I spent the best part of two hours.
I think it took me longer than it might have taken others. For one, I did in fact check whether foreign language quotes translated accurately (not all of them, but some) so that took some extra time.
I also checked some excerpts from another hub in google because I wondered why parts made sense and other parts made no sense in a different hub.
Come to think of it, I probably could have completed one of my own hubs in that time. lol.
I believe it is just out of the goodness of our busy hearts.
Okay, I've hopped some more hubs in the past week. Loved some, flagged others. They stank of being copied, and I when I googled, they were.
I'm still hoping for a 'comments' box. There are some really easy fixes that could be suggested for new hubbers.
Also, what's the chances of giving feedback to those of us who do hub hop? Maybe you could rate us from time to time and send us an email. That way, I'll know whether or not you think I am too harsh. Can't imagine I'm too easy, but there are a few new hubbers I let through because I can see they've made a big effort with their writing even though they might not yet have the photo concept sorted yet.
These sound like good suggestions for the hub hopper. The idea of a comments facility to privately recommend changes to any author wishing to receive advice would be discreet and helpful, and I'm sure that some feedback to those who 'hub hop' would also be beneficial.
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