I just had a hub flagged as substandard. I would like a better definition of such a hub. Why should someone who posts a u-tube video pass while someone who puts up a link to a useful and entertaining site on the net be flagged? I am often quite grateful for bloggers etc. who turn me on to a website such as this one. What do I have to do, write an essay on world poverty in order to put up this link? Why should someone who just puts up a newspaper article doing any more? This is a gray line......it is one thing to flag something as porn but another to say "substandard". By that standard 95% of the stuff on hubpages should be flagged. link for those interested in said hub: http://hubpages.com/hub/Free-Rice-Impro … ulary-Game
You could look at it two ways, barranca. Maybe the other hubs that you're complaining about, should also be flagged. IMO a Hub which only posts a Youtube video or copies a newspaper article doesn't belong here, either.
HubPages has to keep its rules as simple as possible, otherwise it becomes hard to apply them. The majority of Hubs that promote a single website are advertising spam. It's unfortunate that your Hub got caught in that net, but they can't start making exceptions.
There are plenty of social bookmarking sites where you can put up a link to a useful and entertaining site. That's what they're for. It's not what HubPages is for.
HubPages has continually remarked that they reward original content. By that definition, I'd have to agree that your hub fits the definition of substandard.
I also agree with Marisa's comment that the Hubs you are complaining about probably do need to be flagged, but unless the community or you actually does that, there's only so much the guys running the system can filter via their efforts.
If you see something you think needs review, then flag it as such.
I think it is one thing to "reward original content" with higher hub ratings and more visibility but another to throw out a lot of hubs as "substandard". I think it would be extremely unwise. It would feel a lot like censorship and netizens don't like censorship. And more than a few would pack their bags and go.
Another thought/question regarding policy: Is an original poem consider "useful" ? The answer to this question is of significant moment. Is the policy guiding hubpages leading to prefering "How to bake a better chocalate chip cookie?" type of hubs?
Yes and yes. An original poem is welcome on HubPages as is a "How to bake chocolate chip cookies" recipe, and even a political take (That's for Ralph). From the beginning with people like Drax (The official unofficial HubPages poet), poetry has been part of HubPages. What we do ask is people to do their best to create high quality Hubs, and at the same time we don't expect everyone to like poetry, someone's stance on abortion, or GW. We believe that this makes HubPages better for the larger community.
If you think a Hub was flagged substandard in error, just submit it to be reviewed. Thanks, and good question.
Good questions from Barranca. His points are well taken.
We are sending back for revision about 30 of the approximately 250 hubs that come in a day. We don't look at every single hub, we have some filters that help us identify likely candidates. Fairly soon, we hope to move those filters directly into the publishing process so that we can divert potential problem hubs before they are even published (and before they show up in your Hubtivity).
That said, we make mistakes from time to time, and there is some variability in each of our reviewers standards. That's why there is an easy way to resubmit content that you feel wasn't fairly sent back for revision.
Here is a list of things that we don't allow in hubs, with some explanation.
57 in the last month.
We've been very vigilant about removing this kind of stuff, and most of the purveyors of it have stopped wasting their and our time.
22 in the last month.
These don't come up too often, but I suspect we are not finding every hub that violates this policy. For most hubs 10 or 15 tags should be sufficient. If you have a 100 tags there better be a good reason. Please don't pollute the tag space by tagging hubs that are not related at all, or are only tangentially related to that tag (generally, the more specific a tag the better) When making a tagging decision, ask yourself "Is a fan of the 'X' tag likely be interested in this hub?". If the answer is no, don't put that tag on your hub (or you'll likely get down voted or flagged by actual members of that tag fan club).
31 in the last month.
Someday we may have separate sites for different languages, but for now English only is the rule.
551 in the last month.
HubPages has become a popular place for search engine optimizers to dump articles with links back to a site they want to promote. Generally these people aren't really interested in participating in the HubPages community or even getting traffic to their hubs, they just want back links. Usually the content of the article is sub par or lifted from another site, and often the sites they link to are not very worthwhile.
A lot of these hubs are easy to detect, but some of the purveyors are wily and will adapt to our counter measures fairly quickly.
We're all for free speech, but if we adopt a policy of allowing this kind of content the site will quickly be overwhelmed by it. We're happy to oblige contributing members of the HubPages community with a reasonable number back links to their other sites. Previously we gave new members the benefit of the doubt, but now you have to prove you are worthy of having your links FOLLOWED first.
To that end, we've recently taken the step of applying NOFOLLOW to the links in hubs that have a HubScore below 50, and to all the hubs of authors with an author score below 75. This negates most of the SEO value of the link. Getting to 50 and 75 isn't too difficult but it requires some participation, and gives us time to ferret out the deviants before they gain much from their behavior.
311 in the last month.
Generally these are hubs where the intent is not malicious, they just don't meet our minimal standards.
These would include:
- Hubs that are short and strictly personal in nature. For instance a picture of a deer, and the sentence "I like hunting and guns".
- Hubs that are basically just an RSS or News feed (these might also fall under overly promotional)
- Hubs that aren't finished. These might say something like, "This is my first hub. Just testing."
- Hubs that consist only of a link, or 1 sentence and a link. Once and a while one of these might pass muster, but there are dozens of good sites that are built around this kind of submission, such as reddit, digg, and stumbleupon. If you're intent is to try and kick off the discussion of the content of a link or share the link with your fans, then following one or more of these steps will reduce the chance that your hub will be flagged:
1) add a paragraph or so of your own thoughts
2) collect some quality links from several related sources to further the discussion
3) add some interesting photos or videos that illustrate the topic
(Another option would be to share a fun link or try and start a discussion of an article in the forums. The forums aren't a place for self-promotion or search engine optimization either, but if your intent is to foster discourse or share something that isn't self promotional that's generally fine. In terms of short posts, we're liable to let a little more go in the forums than in a hub).
Hopefully that sheds a little light on our policies, and how to steer clear of the business end of them.
Paul, That is a useful summary of the intent and practice of flagging hubs as substandard. Thank you. I find the explanation clear and satisfying. I feel a bit less resolved about the issue of usefulness versus originality. Are these equally, differentially weighted or is their simply one measure "quality"? Some hubs seem useful and unoriginal and others that are original but don't resonate. It has always been something of an irony to me that some of my
hubs which get the most traffic and must be "useful" to somebody are also not at all original. I put them up because the content was a "discovery" for me and I thought others might enjoy it as well. Lo and behold they do. These are all speculative thoughts but they make a difference to the ultimate direction of hubpages.
As a practical matter, our definition of originality is: does the text content of this hub appear frequently elsewhere on the web (ie. if we choose random snippets of text from the hub and put them into a search engine, how many results will be returned on average). By this definition most hubs appear to us to be original. There will be a warning on top of your hub if it doesn't.
In a similarly practical way, usefulness is measured by readership, thumbs up and down, content length, the nature of the links on a hub, an authors record of contributions (and fans), and other factors -- with thumbs up and down and number and quality of fans being the primary "human" input.
Generally a very low HubScore indicates a structural problem with a hub (duplicate content, excessive tagging or linking, etc.). A high HubScore usually means the hub is getting significant traffic, typically from search engines. A middling HubScore just means the hub hasn't caught on -- it doesn't necessarily reflect poorly on either the usefulness or originality of the hub.
If you're objective is just to enjoy interacting in the HubPages community, I wouldn't recommend spending too much time fretting about your HubScores. If you're here to make money, then there are a gaggle of resources that explain how to write for search engines and techniques you can use to get more traffic. They work.
I don't usually fret. I was prodded to raise my longstanding unvocalized questions by the free rice hub being flagged as substandard. I had enjoyed that website when someone at school turned me on to it and I just wanted to share the pleasure. To be honest, I am not sure why I am publishing hubs. At this point it certainly isn't money if the current inflow is typical of what I can expect in the future. I could probably earn more money looking for pennies on the sidewalk. My participation is more the lure of having a record of my thoughts/poems/pleasures on the net and available for readers. I don't think I will ever publish my thoughts/interests any other way. I like the tools you have created to make this easy to do.
Excellent outline there by Mr Deeds. It certainly gives us a look at the bigger picture.
I do believe that Hubpages place in the world wide web will be defined by its originality. The quality of the content will be reflected by the effort put into it by the Authors.
I use a few sites similar to Hubpages. Squidoo and Gather being two that I hold in high regard alongside Hubpages.
While "Free Rice Improve Vocabulary Game" could be useful (I say "could" because I haven't visited the link) it as a Hub is very light on content.
The content though would be ideal for a site like Gather.
For something more frivolous and fun (though short) a person could use Gather or You Say Too.
I've been experimenting with Hubpages and also taking on board the advice and direction of its founders and now leaning more towards publishing articles with a lot more meat on them. Stuff that people can really sink their teeth into and know much more about the topic when they've finished reading it then before they started.
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