This week we will begin assessing older Hubs that haven't yet gone through the Quality Assessment Process. Instead of only holding newly-published Hubs to the heightened quality bar introduced in March, ALL published Hubs will need to meet minimum quality requirements in order to remain or become Featured.
More information on the update can be found on the HubPages Blog. This update is part of our ongoing effort to improve the quality of Featured Hubs on HubPages and make it the best place to publish original, in-depth, media-rich content!
UPDATE 05/31/2013: The new de-Featured icons have changed: Hubs that not Featured for quality are identified by a white circle. Hubs that are not Featured for engagement are identified by a half filled circle. Should be much easier to tell the difference between them!
That is GREAT news, and I truly believe that although it may cause a lot of grumbles from those who have been slipping through the cracks, for the site as a whole, this should greatly improve our rankings and in turn our own page views and incomes. Thank you!
Not exactly the kind of post I wanted to see today. LOL
I thought you guys had already been doing this for the last month or so. Oh, well...
I've probably done over 10-20 tweaks/updates on each and every one of my hubs, excluding the last one. That's a total of over 1000 tweaks and updates this year; probably closer to 2000. They are awesomely unique. They are piled higher and deeper. They got media coming out of their ears. Again, except for the last one. Looks like all the updating and tweaking is about to pay off.
Oddly, I feel better now... I don't know if I will be writing anymore new hubs. But the existing ones are most definitely worth maintaining.
For sure. Editing and updating older Hubs will improve their chances of staying Featured. Adding high quality photos, more relevant text, and proof-reading for grammar mistakes are a few great ways to spruce 'em up.
For those that haven't seen this LC entry yet, Simone, Robin and I did just that: we turned what were previously OK Hubs into glorious works of art.
I also thought we had a message about initiation of this procedure some time ago. It doesn't matter, as I am all for it. Great news!
I have four hubs currently that are not featured due to engagement. They are amongst my first hubs ever created and they are certainly not of the same standard of my latest work and are nowhere near the standard I set myself now.
So as far as I am concerned, the new QAP process is a good thing and working as it should. I will update those four hubs using all I have learnt over the year I have been here and see what the traffic gods give me.
Nice one HubPages for starting this process off, I hope this makes HubPages even better than it is now and that we all benefit from it.
I have a couple problems with these new quality control changes, the most obvious one being: If you stop showing the hubs with lower engagement to the public, how it is going to generate views? A reasonable amount of my views come from folk going through the featured hubs listed on my profile page. If these hubs aren't there, my visitors don't know I have them and can't read them ...?
The other one is: Without feedback as to how a hub is deficient, I don't know how to improve it. I've read the informational chart and it doesn't really help me figure out what HP thinks is wrong with each specific hub that is no longer featured.
So far, I've been fortunate that HP has deemed only 3 of my hubs sub-par in quality, but I have no clue what's wrong with them. For example, the second sample chapter from my up-coming book has been un-featured due to "quality" while the other two sample chapters are still featured. As far as I can tell, it's the same decent quality as the other two, with pictures and word count of 409 which is higher than the first sample chapter but lower than the third. I have no clue why it isn't featured anymore.
My restaurant review is no longer featured and, again, I have no idea why except that someone didn't approve of it's "quality". As far as I can tell, it's well written and informative. It has subheadings (as all my hubs do), a rating capsule, and a link to a source. I did hours of research and data compilation and spent hours creating a unique picture specifically for this hub. So, what did I do wrong?
The third hub un-featured due to poor quality was written in response to someone's question. While it is short than my other hubs (only 258 words), it has a photo, a link to a relevant recipe, subheadings, and addresses the issue in a concise, but informative manner (In my opinion).
I would LOVE to improve the quality of my work, but if I don't know what the problem is, how can I fix it? I really don't have time to guess at what would make HP happy with my work.
I think that if HP is going to "grade" our work, they should include a list of what needs to be fixed. IE.
* Link(s) not relevant
* Content needs further development
That kind of feedback would be super-helpful and much appreciated. As is, I don't find this new feature helpful at all. It's just frustrating.
I agree - fantastic news! I look forward to seeing which hubs I should tweak, and I also look forward to the overall improved quality on the site. I had thought this was already happening - but either way, it's a good step!
Is there a way to know if we have already been through the QAP or if we are still in line for the QAP?
That is a very good question! It would help to know when to breakout the map for the nearest cliff.
My theory on this is that QAP started in about Sept 2012 ( for new Hubs ).
Re-edited hubs are supposed to go through QAP.
So any hub with a revised (Changed) date earlier than Nov 2012 is unlikely to have been QAPed.
Hubs changed, or newly published, with dates after Nov 2012 should have been QAPed.
Staff can confirm this hopefully.
Hope you are correct on this. I have made revisions on all hubs during 2013, except one. The one was the last week of Dec. 2012 though.
HP has it's own Kremlinologist, decoding the mysteries of the Central Committee, speculating about what people might say if they were free to say it, getting to the real facts of the Five Year Plan, peering intently through the smokescreen of disinformation.
Great question! Most Hubs published on or after March 13 have gone through the QAP, along with a small percentage of older Hubs. I think that explains why some of you thought this wasn't news. Although we have been running the QAP since last year, we were not able to collect enough ratings to rate all new Hubs. Hubs where we could not collect enough ratings were given the benefit of the doubt, and became Featured after 24 hours. Now, we collect sufficient ratings for nearly all Hubs and are usually able to come to a decision on its quality status within two hours.
With the latest update, older Hubs will be assessed at a slightly faster pace than they have been and you will be notified by email if one of your Hubs loses its Featured status for not meeting quality standards. You can also reference the two new icons (orange for quality, blue for engagement) in My Account > Statistics to see which of your de-Featured Hubs lost their Featured status for quality reasons, and which for low engagement.
Keep in mind that the QAP is an evolving beast. We may or may not raise the bar or change aspects about how it works in order to keep up with general internet quality trends. Rest assured that we will announce major changes if and when they come.
How long will the process take?
The new icons look a lot like the featured icon. It will be more difficult to spot which hubs are not featured.
I'm surprised it's taken this long to start QAP'ing old hubs because this could massively improve the standing of the site, and the traffic received by the skilled authors who write here.
The QAP is an ongoing process and may never end . In all seriousness:
-it is a costly program to maintain
-there are over 1.1 million published Hubs
-newly Hubs are published and edited each day
Thanks for the feedback on the icons. I will bring that up with the rest of the team.
One Problem lol I have a Hub about leap year traditions which has been un featured due to reader engagement, this hub gets a lot of views every 4 years as you can guess, in fact over the two leap years since publishing it, it has had over 9000 views.
Why should I have to change anything when I know that in 2016 that it will boost again only though if it is allowed to be featured.....jimmy
http://jimmythejock.hubpages.com/hub/Si … -Leap-Year
I have a similar problem with my New Years Resolutions hub.
If it's not Featured presently, editing it (even if slightly) about a month before its peak season arrives will cause it to go through the QAP again.
Yes, but you have to notice it's unFeatured before you can even think about fixing it.
Right now, on my screen the navy blue H's are indistinguishable from the black ones.
What was wrong with having NO icon for the unfeatured ones? It was clear, it was immediately obvious and easy to spot. Is there a problem with that?
We introduced the new icons because many Hubbers requested to know why their Hubs were no longer Featured. We received a lot of feedback on the [suboptimal] design of the icons and we are working on fixing them so that they are easily distinguishable from one another on ALL screens.
May I suggest the following colors to help define and quickly determine a hubs status.
H within a green circle - QAP certified. Outstanding hub, no further work required unless;
H within an amber circle. Has not passed QAP due to low reader engagement.
H within a red circle. Has not passed QAP due to low traffic.
Just like driving on roads, these three colors are innately recognized by learned drivers and do characterize an action required by a Hubber (except green circled hubs)
...so you added an icon which looks almost the same as the Featured one, so that hopefully most Hubbers wouldn't notice ???
Seriously, I assume what you mean is that without an icon, you couldn't offer a hover-over explanation? It just needs a contrasting color, then.
And the lack of any designation did not make it clear to new Hubbers that their hubs would not be available for Google even though they were published hubs.
I wonder if the age still applies with Google once they've been unfeatured. I know my older hubs are more likely to be at the top of Google. When it is a seasonal hub and gets unfeatured, does this hurt it?
I don't spend a lot of time in the forums - it could be months before I pop by .... then I'll hang out for a week or two .... meaning I could have overlooked this.... luckily I was here and with an empty day ahead of me to fill my time.
However, I have, just this month, already been tweaking.amending hubs - probably about 30 of them.... it's such a moving target isn't it!
Just read the new "rules" - had to click through two links to get to the actual rules: http://hubpages.com/help/hub_hop_table#informational .... hoping not to fall foul of that lot too often
Some of my "most successful" aka "high traffic" hubs are based around one date each year. A week before the date they go crazy, then nothing for a year. Financially, these hubs can often outperform my evergreens.... so I do need to probably revisit those a month before the date for each one from now on and update them.
I just looked at the new icons - it's difficult to see the difference between the blue and the black icons on my screen - and I can't be the only one. Maybe a colour change would help.
Noted! We're looking at ways to make the icons more easily distinguishable from one another. Thank you for the feedback!
Can there be a leeway about low traffic hubs, as traffic has gone down for many of us due to whatever Google did? I had a bunch of hubs in the 90s with high traffic several weeks ago. Something happened. Please be lenient!!!!!!!
I agree! Traffic to my hubs has dropped significantly along with earnings over the last few weeks. Does this mean we all have to become SEO experts or is it just traffic from within HubPages that counts?
Traffic from within HubPages doesn't count. Bear in mind, the mission of HubPages is for the site and its writers to make money from advertising income - and traffic from within HubPages doesn't earn income. So yes, it is important to understand SEO because your goal is for 90% of your traffic to come from the search engines - that's when you start making money.
SEO isn't as hard as you think. The best way to approach it (IMO) is to write naturally, but write a long article (over 600 words). That way you'll naturally include a wide range of different words relating to your topic (called keywords) which makes it more likely your Hub will be found. Once you've written your Hub, use the Google keyword tool to get ideas for different keywords you could include.
Yeah!! I was looking forward to this, it's great news
At least now related hubs that are low quality won't be linked from my hubs and yeah some of my bad hubs will go down too. Some of them which I didn't want to take down myself
Been a hubber for awhile. Slowly getting into more and more writing. The new qualities help out a great deal. Having goals to make the hub bigger and better is like having my English teacher check over my work. Blast from the past. Having quality control gave this hubber a sense of accomplishment, got 5 featured hubs and a new award. Kudos to setting a bar of standards and making it a fun too!
i have 21 hubs that aren';t featured yet. With total of 110 hubs, i need to pay attention on those 21 hubs. Trying to update the old ones while posting the new ones
ahhh, this explains the blue "H" next to my previously idled hubs. Well they are still idle I assume, it's just that the nothingness has been replaced with blue, HP abhors a vacuum I guess.
I too was under the impression that the "backlog" was being checked for a long time. I guess this is just to say that it's now under the "aim for an 8, but really 6 is ok" rule.
Well, sports fans. I know what my next two hubs are going to be. The bad news is, what with my other activities, each one will probably take me a month.
Thank you, Marina. I know that whatever HubPages decides to do is for the benefit of writers. It not only boosts HubPages credibility, but it also helps writers produce more quality hubs.
Oh I wish that were true - but it really is about their bottom line and bringing in revenue.
...but revenue is shared, so increasing their revenue is the same as increasing ours, is it not?
Well, HubPages is a business and it exists to make money. We can't expect them to ignore the need to make a profit, and we shouldn't want to - because if the site doesn't make money, it wouldn't be able to keep running.
Changing the rules and making arbitrary decisions without explanation. New Hubpages way I guess. That is fine. Anything in light brown will simply be deleted and moved to another site. Problem solved.
These very issues under discussion in this thread have been discussed between Hubpages staff from forum threads, the blog & newsletters over several months. With all those formats these issues have been spoken about - at length, with Hubbers. These are not arbitrary decisions. These rule changes also have seen many months of review, change and updating users of the site.
Is it possible to have the feature status of a hub be available in the "status" drop down menu? If there was a choice for all three colors, then the unfeatured ones would be very easy to find.
from a long time I m trying to publish my hub page but the phone verification is not confirming due to i m not getting any code from hubpages.com
Sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems with phone verification! Shoot over an email to email@example.com and someone should be able to help you out with this.
Another example of "Ready, Fire, Aim!" on the part of Hubpages. Yes, a black H means featured, a navy blue H means it's good, but it doesn't pass our "Entertainment Tonight" standards. A turquoise H means it doesn't contain a map, a teal H means it needs a poll, and Persian green H means there are too many Amazon modules . Un-featuring quality Hubs due to low readership is another step in the dumbing down of the species. How long before all Hubs must contain at least one reference to Justin Bieber or Jenifer Aniston?
QUESTIONS: I just noticed the new icons being discussed here are found at the bottom of the accounts page, as well as some other icons or terms that could use clarification. Where do we get information explaining how to address something if a hub gets tagged with one of these? And where would the tags appear?
Here are my questions:
Unpublished - Quslity: Seems self explanatory. However, based on some recent hubs I've seen by new writers, the standards do not appear to be as high as I'd thought they might be. Also, are your Turk people checking the 'Summary' sections? I see a lot of bad errors there, even if the hub reads okay. It's a serious red flag, IMO, if there's a contradictory quality of writing in the two. Also, Google DOES see summaries.
Needs Revision: What is the difference between this one and the 'quality' thing? Would HP indicate what type of revision a hub needed if this appears?
Unpublished - Engagement: What in the heck does this mean, in terms of guidance to a writer? Would that mean there aren't enough comments? Does it mean nobody comes by to read it? Does it reflect the time readers spend on the hub? Does it mean the writer should add a poll or something? Does this mean a hub with low traffic is unpublished rather than unfeatured? If I were to get this icon, I would have no idea what to do.
Irrevocable: I've seen this at the bottom of the accounts page for some time, but have no idea what it means.Seems like this is a good place to ask. It looks scary, so I hope I never have to deal with it, but WHAT does Irrevicable mean in HP-lingo? The hub has to go away forever?
Possibly Copied by Someone Else: Does that mean someone else copied OUR work (which is how it reads), or that the hub appears to be copied from elsewhere? We could really use the former, by the way.
Since we're discussing the new QAP guidelines and the new H colors at the bottom of the page, I figured this was a good time to ask. Or maybe this info is found somewhere.
As you can see from above - if I were to get any of these flags or icons, the only one that seems to have an identifiable meaning is 'Quality' - otherwise, I'm not sure what I would need to do.
Good questions, Marcy. Hovering over each of the icons in the chart opens a brief message with tips for what to focus on. You can also click on most of the icons / statuses in the legend at the bottom of My Account > Statistics.
Some more details:
To increase reader engagement: add recent, relevant information and update titles and subheadings so that they are more search-friendly. The "How to Create Search-Friendly Content" section of the Learning Center offers several helpful guides. You can also visit this blog post and this faq entry for further clarification.
To improve quality: create Hubs that are long-form and media-rich. Add more media and supporting elements (quizzes, maps, tables, polls). Ensure that Hubs are broken up into multiple capsules and easy to scan. You may want to add more text, but sometimes it's just a matter of fixing up the formatting. The "How to Create Successful Online Content" section of the Learning Center contains detailed guides on how to create high-quality Hubs.
Why you might be seeing some Featured Hubs that do not seem to meet the 8+ standard: To prevent Hubs from toggling in and out of Featured status too often, edited Hubs are subject to a lower quality threshold compared to newly published Hubs. Additionally, Hubs that are borderline may (or may not) pass the QAP which is why we recommend shooting for 8+.
Hub summaries: it is somewhat complicated technically to show Hub summaries through MTurk. Although summaries are important, the overall quality of the Hub is what matters most. You make a valid point, however, and I will share your feedback with the rest of the team.
Needs revision Hubs are Hubs that are not published because they have been moderated. Select a Hub to see why it needs revision. The reason(s) will appear as a red link in the black box at the top of the Hub. Each moderation reason is spelled out in Reasons Why Hubs Are Moderated (& How to Fix Them) in the Learning Center.
Irrevocable: These are Hubs that can no longer be published due to repeated rules violations (i.e., ignoring several moderation notices in a row.) Don't worry, this does not happen often.
Possibly Copied by Someone Else: Someone else copied your work.
Marina - a belated Thank You for answering my questions. I noticed the blue text at the bottom of the accounts page, and that is helpful for whenever we may have one of the icons show up. I also appreciate the answers about "Irrevocable" and the clarification on the "Copied" alert. I've been curious about "Irrevocable" for a long while, and sort of figured it meant what you said.
Regarding 'Engagement" - it sounds like this is primarily the number of views and perhaps related to the time readers spend on the hub?
Thank you, again, for the brief glossary!
@Marina, you say that the quality is going to be as per the internet trends right? Why not increase the bar now rather than making people keep editing them again and again. That would help everyone and the site as a whole.
There are on hover explanations and the icons sort in my account as well. New icons coming:)
Where do we find the QAP score for one of our hubs. I have 2 RECIPES hubs that are not featured now due to the quality and I need to know how and what needs changing - it is recipe for heaven's sake!
I'm glad to see that creative writing has a separate scale. I saw Randy Goodwin's question on the blog and the answer to address it. I hope that it works out well for us, as creative writing is so subjective. All in all, I'm glad that more is being done to increase quality overall on the site. I will continue to tweak, revise, add, subtract, write, tweak, revise, add, subtract, write, tweak, revise . . . . .
I am so glad to hear this! I think it is going to help the quality and respectability of Hubpages. I only have ten more to go! I only have 1 that is not featured. Time to go look at the Hubpages blog and figure out why.
I am on board with anything that can make Google like us better.
Looks like the symbols have been eclipsed ( full and half )
Love the Not Featured because of lack of engagement. Meaning, nobody is reading it right now. Hubpages answer, make sure nobody reads it. Sad
Good, thanks for responding so quickly to my suggestion about icons. The new ones are better.
Well, I liked the blue and orange icons. They made sweet little playmates for the rather stern black ones. Now, it all looks like an obituary in weird Babylonian script.
I'll admit the new ones are not as attractive, though they are clearer.
What was orange? All I could see was black (for featured) and a very dark navy blue (for not featured). Irrelevant now, I know, but just curious.
It was brownish or if you want to call it orange, brownish orange? lol
That was shown for hubs that didn't meet quality requirements. I saw the entire list from the bottom of the page so I know
Do we need quality control on the site - absolutely. BUT...After two years of all of my hubs being featured, now I get notice that certain hubs are no longer featured due to quality....they are recipes. It is quite difficult to tweak a recipe. So we need a little more guidance on some of this stuff.
I have also heard some complaining that their poetry is not longer featured - well, poetry is very subjective and I cannot for the life of me figure how HP will assess the quality of poetry. William Carlos Williams would no doubt have an unfeatured hub with his poem The Red Wheelbarrow---ah too short! Change it! Tweak it! Do something to it!
No, leave poetry alone and please explain the reason that a particular Hub has lost its featured status. Please don't make me guess.
I hope they give leeway as they said on views, as many are down. HubPages views are up. Go figure. A little off subject here.
I'm going to surprise a few here and say I am really looking forward to this. IF QAP has any bearing at all on Google views then there could be a real benefit.
ps. Grateful if HP staff could make sure my stuff is left alone. It doesn't really need any checking. Thanks.
What does Hubs not featured for engagement mean? Does it have to do with traffic? Thanks in advance!
Yes, if your hub doesn't generate traffic after a certain amount of time, it runs the risk of being non-featured. It's a good enough amount of time, as I recall, to give you time to tweak and update to avoid non-feature status. In general, pay attention to your traffic stats. When there hasn't been any engagement for 30 days, I would start to look at the hub and see if it might need tweaking or promotion. Of course there are factors out of your control but that's a good rule of thumb to start with to keep on top of your traffic.
This new "feature" kills seasonal hubs. Forces arbitrary changes just to appease an arbitrary and constantly changing standard.
And...the tag of low quality does not necessarily mean "low quality" but other factors like length -and we have to guess at what is wrong--this makes fixing a hub tremendously difficult.
totally agree. Shooting in the dark on what will make them happy on any given day.
I refuse to constantly try and figure out what HP wants. They constantly are changing their advice, guidelines and algorithms with very little to no transparency. They do all this constantly trying to react to whatever new change Google has made this month.
Much easier to let HP slowly kill off what were once high traffic hubs than to play their games.
Maybe Oxford Press should start dropping words from the dictionary that aren't used as frequently as other words. They could probably cut it down to two or three pages.
I am very sorry that I am seeing things on hub pages through this process that is kinda shocking. One you are taking featured hubs by people who have been writing for two years and telling them the hub is no longer featured because basically it does not meet quality standards. I does not matter how many saw it or how many commented to it. I can understand the process of helping beginners on hub pages, but it is not like a teacher of 29 years who taught English to kids and writing skills does not know how to write. I asked before of what credentials do you base yourself. Hubs I had featured got unfeatured and featured again without nothing I did to them. It makes me as a writer feel like loss of my creativity. So if you want me to delete all my writings, then I will be happy to take my ability elsewhere.
That hypothetical teacher is indeed a problem. Because she has taught children, for 29 years how to write incorrectly....if they are writing on the web.
Did she teach to write for skimmers - people looking for specific information that simply skim a page? Did she teach them to stick in photos to distract attention from the text? Did she teach them to write in only short paragraphs so as to not overload the 8th grade level of reading comprehension we find out there? Did she teach them to engage the reader with cute gadgets to interact with the article? Did she teach to them to stick in a video to maintain reader interest?
No? Then she did not teach the students how to write online, but still thinks she did. Quality on the web is NOT the quality we were all taught in school. It's a hard lesson to learn for most people (ironically, the best writers), but HP has learned it and is trying to teach it even as they demand it.
It all depends upon your goals. Do you want to write intelligently for intelligent people, or do you want to make a penny-a-paragraph? If the former, write quality content and look the other way as Hubpages and Google perform their spastic mating dance. If the latter, keep Panda-ring to a dumbed-down, celebrity-obsessed, and nearly illiterate audience.
Well said Bill. The problem as I see it, Hubpages caters to the low information reader and punishes anyone who refuses to do the same.
No, HP caters to the money, however it is to be found. Nor do I see any "punishment" as a hub unfeatured for traffic reasons has been hurt at all by going unfeatured.
"Write intelligently for intelligent people" - don't you actually mean use all the rules from school days that also make an article difficult to read? Long blocks of text, no side bars of interest, no possibility of scanning to quickly find specific information?
Spelling, grammar, etc are still necessary, but the style of writing is different from the academic world. That hardly means that a hub is not written unintelligently or that the reader is not a rocket scientist struggling to fix his kitchen sink.
Learning how to write on the web worries me. When we write books, magazine articles etc, we're going to be writing like we do here.
I just know that in a Google conference room somewhere, a bunch of twenty-somethings are laughing hysterically at how they're making Hubpages jump through hoops just because they can.
I've been wondering since we're all at the mercy of the QAP reviewers, whoever they may be, can they tell if a hub has been popular and receiving say, hundreds of views a week or each month before they casually flick the switch and de-list it? It is a concern.
Good idea! Keep up the good work Hub Pages and all Hubbers, keep on trucking..
How about something to tell us that our hubs have been through the QAP process - currently we do not know for our old hubs unless they suddenly without warning get de-listed!!
It would be very helpful to have something that says they have been "approved."
I agree with LeanMan. It would be helpful if we can know which hubs have been through the QAP process.
It would be even better if they actually gave us the QAP "scores" of our articles. Apparently that might be a perk in the future AP programs. It should not be a perk, it's something that can help us all improve.
I'm not sure I am completely sold on the idea that improving the quality (as defined by the QAP) will appease panda, improve Google ranking etc. But neither do I know for certain that this is not true. If I knew the QAP scores of my hubs, I would go back and try to improve the weaker ones.
If HP really wants to improve the quality of the content here (the "aim for 8" campaign), why are they withholding information that could help us do that.
I'm with you - I would love to see individual hub scores in the 3 categories.
Somewhere else, somebody mentioned what the forums would become (as well as HP's inbox) were those scores to be made available. They were right; can you imagine how many hubbers would be absolutely incensed because their wonderfully written hub only got an 8? Or worse, a 5?
Yep I imagine that is one of the reasons that is stopping them. I still think they should man up, batten down the hatches and do it.
People are not literally going to set the forum or HP HQ on fire! Let the campers be unhappy. I mean plenty of people are unhappy now because their hubs are judged low quality. Will it be any worse because a hub is a 6 or a 7?
If enough information is given, then there's no reason to complain. The rules are clear and they can improve, stagnate or leave. I know I'd never come to the forum and complain about a 6, I'd work really hard to improve it. I'd be embarrassed to have people think I was a loser.
You two are both crazy! Judging from past hate posts in HP forums, some hubbers may be quite capable of flying out there and torching the place!
Neither do they need a reason to complain: A top of the line, wondrously written hub (in their opinion) that gets a 5 is all that is needed to set the forums on (virtual) fire. Look around the forums; we're already seeing it when the hub goes unfeatured; give them a reason for that in a low score and the berserkers will come out of the woodwork.
I agree aa lite! I'm tired of being told to be original and engaging. That's really of very little help. Show me my scores in detail and I'll work like crazy to be a 10, never mind an 8. Yeah, I'll be "gaming" the system. Hopefully the system has been set up that will encourage my gaming to be productive for everyone.
I've got 4 Hubs that were nominated and won HubNuggets (I guess they're called Rising Stars now). None of them are getting any traffic. Yes I actually checked the titles and they are based on terms that should get traffic.
It's really hard to get excited about writing here when the rules keep changing and they aren't made clear enough to truly work with.
Yep, the problem is that the we don't know whether HP's interpretation of "quality" is the same as that of Google's. Plus, really I am not sure I buy the whole "just focus on quality" Google spiel. I mean have you seen what the SERPs look like these days?
But on the other hand I'm prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt. If I had proper feedback I would go back and raise the QAP quality of my hubs. Has a better chance of working than just moaning on forums.
Paul did say once that pages with high QAP scores get 6 times more traffic than pages with average QAP scores, so HP seem to have a metric that works.
Having said that, I don't think QAP is a genuine quality measure, simply because the mTurkers can't be expected to be expert in every field. One thing they will not pick up are pages that are polished rehashes of other similar pages
Too many writers read a few articles on a subject, spin them in their heads and write out the result (and I have been as guilty as anyone). These kinds of page really don't seem to work anymore.
Yep, I remember now, they did an experiment where they followed a bunch of Stellas, and a bunch of Normas, and the Stellas did get a lot more traffic, so you're right the QAP does have some data behind it.
I guess it is a statistical thing, if you write one very Stella hub there is no guarantee that it will get traffic, but if you keep writing Stella hubs and you write a lot of them, you should do quite well.
The other huge factor I guess is keyword research and topic choice. I really wish that the 'exclusive titles' were not the rubbish that they are! I imagine HP would have to spend serious money on keyword research to produce good titles, but if they did that they might get it back rather than leaving it to people to do their own, or just wake up one day with the brilliant idea that they will write about "how to be successful", or "how to make money online".
I concur; writing stellar hubs is still a statistical thing, particularly when keyword research and topic are added to the pot.
A pot of Stella stew roasting over the fire will taste better than a pot of Norma's, but you will still find a twig or two in the pot, a piece of sausage that stuck to the bottom and burned or a carrot that didn't cook all the way through. Still a better stew, though.
I agree about the 'Exclusives' titles - several of us wasted (sorry to say) quite a bit of time writing those, because we were told they were pre-vetted, etc. Now, we can't even change the titles by ourselves, unless they're in the Title Tuner - and some are such poor performers that they never even hit the Tuner. Sad. I don't know where they got those titles, or what they paid to get them, but they were not worth the investment, in many cases.
Digby - I agree completely that if we know the qualities needed for a 10, we will go for it. I don't call that gaming the system - I call that aiming for the highest marks. When we were in college, we understood what it took to get an "A," so those students who cared about it knew what to do to work on it. We already know there are percentages (perhaps large percentages) of people on this site who don't care, who haven't been here for a long while, and who could not make the improvements even if they tried, because they lack the skills. I support, 100%, having a process that un-publishes the dead wood floating around. And I respect writers who have the capability and willingness to adjust things when given a clear idea of what to do.
The vagueness here would frustrate many writers; terms like 'engaging' can mean several things. Does a hub get unpublished simply because it doesn't get many visitors? Is that fair? Does it get penalized because the time on the page isn't sufficient? That means everything is ad-driven rather than quality driven.
I guess if it keeps the overall rankings of the site higher to take it out of the mx, that's 'fair,' but it certainly doesn't offer helpful information to writers who want to know what they need to change in order to get back on track. I do not yet have hubs that have the 'new' icons indicating work should be done - although I certainly anticipate I will get some at some point. I would just like for the specifics to be available when the time comes. Not 'specifics' related to my individual hubs, but the details behind the slide-rule used by MTurks. I have pointed out that the information is not clear, and the response I got was not useful.
So the good news is we have a lot more data about quality. Today, I saw a report of the best Hubbers by quality. It's pretty cool. We are reworking HubScore. Do you like the top lists?
We are looking at ways to give people quality data. Our hope is people can see the Hub Hopper rating guide and know the criteria. http://hubpages.com/help/hub_hop_table#informational
One issue about showing rating data is we don't always rate a Hub to a high level of accuracy. For example the last Hub I made was rated a 6.8, but it could have actually been higher. As soon as we know a Hub is over the feature threshold we stop rating it. So we are working on rating things to higher degrees of accuracy that are really good, but that will take some time. We could show people a range. Like your Hub is between a 5.7 and 7.8. But I don't think that is super useful.
I like this change though it does sound trouble for my hubs. No more shallow hubs for me.
I am sincerely praying to God that I didn't rate that one. I'm frightened to go look.
Paul, Doesn't this inaccuracy question the entire QAP strategy with its emphasis on consistency. The range you mention 5.6 - 7.8 is very broad and covers the supposed threshold of 6. If this level of accuracy applies to all hubs QAPed, then a huge number of hubs could be unfeatured when they deserve not to be. Surely the QAP should simply be a CrAP filter. A quick check of the new hubs being featured shown they have obvious faults, bordering on TOS issues. If QAP was directed soley at the bottom end, it would probably be do a better job and be more accurate. IMO
Well, I'm not getting past a 6 on many pages given that I rather like to point people at the odd product, lol.
Glad to see the new distinction between hubs which are unfeatured due to quality, and hubs which are unfeatured due to 'engagement' or traffic. I've always been a little annoyed in the past by the lumping together of all unfeatured hubs with the accompanying, rather cursory suggestion that they should be 'improved' to get them featured.
Hubs which lack quality should certainly be unfeatured until 'improved', for the sake of HubPages' reputation on Google.
However I would personally like to see all quality hubs featured even if they only attract a handful of visitors each year. Such hubs cannot necessarily be 'improved' in quality, but if such articles are not allowed to be accessible to users of Google, then Google itself will be the poorer - it cannot claim to be a source of information on all topics, if obscure topics cannot be found using the search engine because they are not featured. Google must be open to quality specialist articles even if those specialist articles lack traffic.
Whether there is any value to HubPages (as opposed to Google) in unfeaturing minority interest, low traffic subjects, I do not know. However, at least it is nice to see the acknowledgement that not all hubs which experience low traffic do so because of a lack of quality.
If I may try my hand at public relations:
Congratulations! Your writing effort was not thrown in the garbage because it was bad, it was thrown in the garbage because too few people were able to find it. We will remedy this by making it impossible for people to find it going forward. You should be very proud to have such high quality, invisible trash.
Bill, this is the second time that HubPages has admitted their new system has "collateral damage". At least they're admitting it, and perhaps they should remind people of it more often.
The fact is that HubPages isn't making enough money to get every single Hub checked for quality, so they've had to take some measures which are clumsy. Idling Hubs for lack of traffic is one of those and it is very clumsy, but which would you rather - lose a few Hubs or lose the whole site? I think some people are assuming HubPages is a big company making a pile of money off our efforts, but as far as I'm aware it's not even breaking even right now.
If you have Hubs that don't get much traffic, move them to a blog. If you don't want to do that, then at least set your profile so it's not restricted to Featured Hubs only, then at least other Hubbers - who may well have been their only traffic anyway - can see them.
@janderson - Hubs require different number of ratings. Think of the range I gave as confidence interval. To narrow the range, it takes more inputs.
You are right about the crap line. It's easier to rate stuff at the edges. The challenging part is the middle of the curve. Ideally, all featured Hubs are really good. Quality certainly has dramatically improved. However, we still get lots of Hubs right at the border. Maybe good enough to pass, maybe not. We encourage people to jump way over the line. Scraping by is likely going to cause some frustration, but the system works really well at featuring Hubs that are 7+ and beyond.
HP need to be QAPing other sites with similar structures. Especially sites that have never had a Panda hit and those that are on the cusp (up and down).
If you can get a quality profile to aim for, everything will become a lot simpler.
You can get Draconian with lesser quality hubs if you have a high level of confidence it will get us clear of Panda. People won't complain if it works.
We have done that. We compare our quality distribution to other sites. Particularly to other UGC sites that are doing well.
For example, we have almost identical quality distribution as wikihow. I think wikihow does a really nice job. So, why have we had more ups and downs then they have?
Maybe others have theories?
- Wikihow has a stronger backlink profile?
- Wikihow has very few affiliate links?
- Wikihow has a very consistent content layout?
We also measured us vs others when they were doing well and really couldn't understand why they were doing better, but future updates actually brought us way ahead of the others, but wikihow persists. My hope is we are bringing the entire site up in quality and that will be recognized.
Looking at quantcast, Wikihow was in significant decline most of 2012 and is now recovering nicely. What did they do?
Maybe they deleted poor stuff and applied the URL removal tool so the benefit was fast.
Maybe the citations section helps. SusannaS was adamant that affiliate links needed to be balanced out by authority links when she got away from a Panda hit.
Maybe the human editing input helps.
Maybe the imposed structure forces writers to deliver greater clarity which means more people read more pages to the end.
Incidentally, writers here could learn from the 'warnings' section. People love to be told about hidden dangers.
Appreciate the mention I do think outgoing links to authority sites are important, but my theory was more to do with:
- the ratio of sales pages to info pages on a subdomain, and
- keeping affiliate links (ebay/amazon) either completely off of info pages, or reducing them to just a couple of well placed ones.
Personally, a 60/40 split has worked well for me. 60% info pages and 40% salesy pages. My sales pages also tend to be in the same niches as my info pages which I think helps with authority.
I also drastically reduced the overall number of affiliate links within my subdomain by taking out all the referral trackers.
Maybe it was overkill, maybe it was simply about quality issues, but my account has been relatively stable since I did that back in August 2011.
Thinking about other big content sites, I couldn't say without analysing their monetisation methods whether the affiliate link ratios are an important factor or not. It's definitely worth thinking about how Google would algorithmically determine a thin or fat affiliate - what signals it would be looking for? I guess that would be Paul's job though, lol
'I guess that would be Paul's job though'
Paul is being very democratic this week. Just tell him what you think!
He may never ask again, of course, lol.
What are you calling a sales page? I keep my own ratio around 80/20 or even less, but have an Amazon capsule or two on most pages. The page just isn't dedicated and written for sales - I'll just throw in a capsule for something I'm talking about that's hard to find locally or is unusual but that's normally all.
My sales pages, on the other hand, could have 20 Amazon/eBay products listed, depending on the topic. A TV review will have just one or two, but suggestions for making a took kit will have lots of products.
I handle affiliate links like radioactive material. In the right place: money. Left lying around indiscriminately: disaster.
If nobody, ever clicks on an affiliate link you are better off getting rid of it.
To be honest, looking at your pages, I think you over do it. For example, you have a page 'How to Replace a Ceiling Light.' with several affiliate links. I would say you would be better off keeping that as a pure 'how to'. People are probably not looking to buy, they are looking for practical advice.
You could write a 'Best Ceiling Lights' page separately (although in my opinion anything involving taste and fashion is difficult unless you happen to have spotted an emerging trend way before anyone else).
At the moment, you seem to have a bit of a traffic downturn, so I would really look hard at amazon links and get rid of any that don't pay.
You asked: "Maybe others have theories?"
In brief: I think Google's trying to be AI, and user intention is playing into SERPs more strongly than ever, and HubPages and user intention are problematic.
1) More narrow focus: Every article's a how-to. HubPages, on the other hand, is tricky - it's not divided into functional types of pages like most persevering informational websites. We have how-tos, opinion pieces, scholarship, shopping advice, factual informational pages, newsy pages, image-centered content, and more. And within subdomains, the same problem. We're going to be harder to classify and match to a user intention (discovery, shopping, comparison, thumb-twiddling, etc.) than websites that are exclusively directed toward a single user intention.
You've been encouraging in-depth hubs because those seemed to be the ones that were successfully ranking. So we have a lot of them now. In fact, I'd guess that it's mostly in-depth hubs that are ranking, now, and maybe it's for this reason: If Google can't easily match the user intention to the function of a HubPage, at least Google can match searches that indicate in-depth exploration with the HubPages' brand. You've essentially started to create a specialty for HubPages, but not one that's consistent or reliable, because now "in-depth" applies broadly to all sorts of queries, some of which are contraindicated for depth - for example, recipe pages where all they want is a recipe to try and to print out. But in-depth is still a fairly safe strategy, because Google's search engine results have been so bad in the last couple of years that any sincere, in-depth article yielded is a breath of fresh air to users, who won't scorn what they get - it just won't answer their query the best.
So this problem affects both user behavior on the SERPs and on the pages.
Basically, if HubPages pages could be simultaneously cross-linked by subdomain and by page function, there might be hope.
2) Brand mis-recognition: Websites that start with "wiki" take off at a running start because people can't help but associate them with Wikipedia. This affects user behavior when actually on the SERPs. Working on branding might help.
Thanks for the comments. I agree on the wikihow brand confusion.
I'm curious what suite101 has done. Do you know details?
No. This last year, they basically got rid of the old Suite101 and created another site, but I don't know where, what, or how. They are not sharing details with the authors, who are receiving residuals but have no more control over their articles and cannot write more (unless invited, but have heard nothing). My earnings there went down significantly after Panda. Since the new site, they've gone down a bit more. Whatever the former Suite101 is doing I wouldn't call a screaming success, from my perspective, but the forum's gone and I have no way to assess the site as a whole.
Thanks. I was curious if they did more than reskin the site.
When I assess the current state of googles algorithm it's about more consistently adding depth. Authors that have consistently above 7s have less volatility and more traffic.
For a while now, we have been thinking about ideas on how to improve quality across the board.
How can we help Hubbers improve their Hubs the most?
- grammar and spell checking their Hubs
- editing for common mistakes (unrelated links, formatting issues, product choice issues)
- providing access to illustrators, photos, other media)
What can we provide Hubbers to help with quality?
Paul - I don't know if it's possible (or if it would help), but is there some way to set a threshold of word length or other elements before a hub can be published? This would not work for poetry or recipes, but if someone couldn't execute 'publish' unless there were more than XXX words, that might help to a degree.
Another idea might be to install something like Yahoo Answers has that pops up a big alert when it detects misspelled words. The pop-up can be annoying (it happens real-time, while you might be in the midst of correcting typos), but there's no way to ignore it.
Do QAP on the Summaries! Please!! I see awful Summaries, and it's embarrassing to know they show up in searches. Some people who steal or spin/convert content (including through translators) have to write their own Summaries, and you can spot the problems. It should be a huge (HUGE) red flag when the style and quality of writing in a Summary is noticeably different than the content of the hub. Either way, NO hub should be published with a Summary full of errors.
We still see new Hubbers (and some less new) who post comments here on the forum that show serious issues with spelling and proper use of English. And they've got hubs that have passed QAP. I know those if us who see those issues sometimes check out the hubs, but those hubs should never be published to begin with, IMO.
If it helps, a good number of my low ratings lately have been for organization... so some emphasis on media might be helpful.
For me personally, I think the QAP score would be helpful. I know this has been raised before, but if we were able to see our score we could revisit the hubs with a lower score in the knowledge that we haven't developed the theme adequately, or there isn't enough supporting media etc etc.. And revise accordingly.
We are going to feed a lot more of QAP into HubScore. We will announce shortly.
This should be a great way for writers to focus on work they need to revise. Many longtime Hubbers have hundreds of hubs, and the task of searching out the ones that need work is monumental.
Surely anything that doesn't get traffic needs work - regardless of a score?
That, too - but there are many high-quality hubs here that suffer from low traffic. So that's not the only yardstick, and it doesn't always indicate a quality issue.
Very true. My hubs written for hubbers, one written on the side effects of a specific drug, etc. get very little traffic. Because there are very few searches for them, not because they're poorly written (at least I hope not! )
Oh OK. I guess my current mindset is that if it doesn't get traffic - get rid of it or move it. I am tired of tweaking and achieving nothing.
One of my oldest hubs that got heaps of traffic got De-Indexed (low quality) because of a couple of spelling and grammar errors.
Also it had no subheadings, and was short.
I edited it to pass QAP and ZAP, it went to jail and I did not collect $200.
It plunged in the SERPS and has not recovered.
Ho Hum what a Bum!
That's scary. It's hard to believe that google would lower a ranking because you fixed misspellings and grammar, or made it more readable. Did editing bring it to google's attention somehow? That would go against everything we understand about "freshness".
Doing edits is a doubly blind process
# We don't really know what Google wants, or penalises for (it loved 'em)
# We don't really know why a hub did not pass QAP
So stabbing around Ham fisted is surely, gonna stuff things up.
Why oh why, are we forced to edit stellar performing 'Plain Jane' hubs so they die!
I think one the problems might be that we assume there's one specific reason why our hubs/articles have suddenly dropped like a rock. What I mean is, your hub may not have suffered because it was de-indexed and then improved, but around about the same time Google was updating their algos and testing etc. so it may have suffered whether it had been de-indexed/ updated or otherwise. Because content sites are continually trying to keep up with Google, they are changing their practices and then Goggle changes their algos. So often it seems like it's a chicken/egg scenario, and we're left wondering which changes have resulted in the negative impact on our subs. Remember last year when the new profiles coincided with an update? Those who were slapped (myself included on another sub-domain) were left wondering which change had caused the problems.
Problem is, almost 12 months later, we still don't know.
It was mentioned above that :
"a good number of my low ratings lately have been for organization"
How the hell do we know that breaking a small hub into sections with sub headings is what Google wants -
Yet hubs are being de-indexed because they lack sub headings.
Maybe Google sees this as gaming the system!
Please, leave high traffic hubs out of this process - Google Loves 'em - Leave well enough Alone! IMO
We don't, that's what I'm getting at. We don't know whether the site's changes or Google's updates are causing the problem. But then, even without enforced changes from the site, Google just pukes out another update/refresh and whatever they liked yesterday, they don't like today.
And just to add to that, both G and HP avoid transparency when it comes to what they are looking for, specifically. Clearly both are worried about us "gaming". And if we look back a few years then I get that. (black hat , if you will) But when it comes to "quality" we're not gaming if we aim for a 10 on QAP- Or even Google's version of QAP (whatever that might be)
I think that "one" of the problems is that neither G or HP can truly measure quality when they are not using just humans to rate, and also that G uses searchers' engagement, social sharing etc. as indicators of quality. In other words, neither can clearly define what quality means to them, because each are slaves to either the big G, or the searchers.
Think Yahoo answers, Google likes them, because searchers appear to like them, but how many "quality" answers have you honestly seen published there?
Therein lie the problem; we just can't be sure where the problem lies!
That scares me. I worry that some of my older hubs that are shorter will get unpublished and I'll lose my #1 placement. I only have 2 of these, but they generate a good deal of my traffic.
Solaras - You may want to delete your post so this spammer's message and link aren't saved. I reported 'her' just now.
Thanks - but I can't find it now. Maybe HP already did me a favor?
You mentioned providing access to illustrators, photos, and media. Did you mean "illustrators" or "illustrations?"
Also, how will we know whether our older hubs have already gone through the QAP? I was a plunger back in 2012 and have a lot of older hubs that just recovered (for the moment) in March. When can I be confident that they've passed (or not passed) the QAP process?
One thing to consider is that it is unwise to leave hubs de-indexed for too long. While they are 'in furrow' all the copies germinate and rise to the top. When you fix 'em Google sees them as copies or may continue to favor the new crops (there is no guarantee they will be re-indexed).
Yes, exactly. That, and the possibility of losing the backlinks ("This one's dead? Better remove it...") makes me nervous. Nothing popular was deindexed, but if it is, I'd be quite sad.
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