HubPages editors will:
Proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes
Update the information in Hubs
Improve layout and structure
Add supplementary capsules
Obtain high-quality media assets (illustrations)
Remove unrelated links and products
Communicate with Hubbers about the changes made to their Hubs
Provide a document with the before and after changes highlighted
the above is all wrong!
The sequence of what should happen when a hubber opts into the program should be as follows:-
1) Hub Pro program is neutral and hubber chooses to opt-in rather than out!
2) Editor suggests to hubber(copyright owner) which hubs they think need editing
3) Hubber suggests to Editor the hubs they want edited
4) Editor makes notes on chosen hub(s)
5) Hubber approve notes
6) Then and only then will the editor start editing grammar, spelling errors etc.
7) Any content changes must be approved by copyright owner of article
8) Updating information in hub must be done or approved by hubber
Note: The communication must be done PRIOR to any changes to the hubs, with the expressed consent of the hubber. Until this sequence is followed, HP will have a very disgruntled community here.
The most important suggestion yet! Never lock a hubber from their own hub! What ridiculous thing is this?
VERY good, Cardisa - excellent suggestions that I agree with and it seems many others do also.
I recently helped a fairly new hubber with a hub he had that was unfeatured. It did not take me long to assist him via email with suggestions and 'how to' issues. The hub went featured by the next morning and it looked good - he was very happy with it. I then gave him pointers on creating a stellar hub and the same day he created a stellar hub that is awesome. I only gave him suggestions and he pulled it off quickly and flawlessly. I then had another hubber who helped me do some revisions to a hub of mine and it was done in record time. Now - if hubbers can help each other like that, why for crying out loud does HP pay nine editors plus outside agencies (images, etc) to change a good hub to make make it look like it belongs on a 'teeny boppers' blog? I believe it is because HP staff does not have enough faith in us writers, the backbone of HubPages. Can you imagine just how much HP pays out for editors each month? It makes me shudder.
Granted we do not have 8 hours a day to spend on helping others, but we can do a heck of a lot in a few hours to get someone on their way to becoming a good hubber who can produce great hubs.
I agree Phyllis. I can understand a website like HP wanting to have editors on staff. I believe the concept is good but, I think the way they are going about it is all wrong. Unless HP declares that they own the content on this website, then and only then should they mess with articles in such a way. Editing grammar and spelling errors is okay, but tampering with the information is all wrong.
I agree. It borders on violating the hubber's copyright when they change the content as was done with Aneegma's hub. Changing her article to 1st person when the hubber distinctly wrote it in 3rd person, then adding "personal experience" is just wrong.
When I first read about the HubPro program, I took it to mean the editing would strictly be cleaning up grammar, spelling and layout ... not drastically changing the content, adding 400+ words and replacing the hubber's choice of photos with second rate clip art (with no attribution!).
agree but did the HP lock you out of your own hub?
Not me. Apparently after the HP editors complete their task , the hubber is unable to access the hub to make any further changes for a few weeks.
That's not the case. The hub is locked while it's being edited and that process can take a few weeks.
As soon as the editing is complete you have full access to the hub as before and at that point you can revert any changes that you're not happy with back to the original.
But the part I don't care for is that the editor's version is now part of Google's cache. After all this time, Writer Fox was able to retrieve each version the editor submitted of Aneegma's article. Even now, the final version is far different than Aneegma's original. She is still considering what to do regarding making any changes to the edited version.
Why can't a draft (something non-live) be used between hubber and editor so the editor's version doesn't exist online like Aneegma's edited versions do?
I still say the editing of her hub when she never responded to emails because of not being active on HP is bordering on violating her copyright, no matter what HP's TOS says about retaining the ability to edit hubs.
HP constantly says they don't own the copyright to our work, so if that is the case, then they shouldn't have the right to edit it, to change the voice, and add content to hubs.
Although not much can be done about it, this should be a lesson to learn for the future.
I've edited hubs many times only to find the changes had a negative effect, and then edited back again without any long term issues. So personally I don't think that the change to Google's cache is a big deal.
I agree that there are certainly some issues that need addressing. Consent is the big one in my mind, if that was changed then it would avoid the cascade of other problems.
I hope people understand we beta services like HubPro to improve the site quality and to adapt to a rapidly changing ecosystem. If we don't adapt we will not succeed in the future.
We usually try to put in place a minimal set of features that will allow us to see the impact. HubPro has only been on about 1000 hubs and it's been focused on increasing reader satisfaction.
We are working on requirements for iterations to HubPro. We've collected several recommendations from the community.
- I really like the locking suggestion.
HubPro has been very successful at increasing reader satisfaction and in turn, traffic. However we have major challenges in adapting HubPages to succeed in the future.
This year, our top priority is improving site quality. Policies and processes are an important piece. We will look at all of these to make sure we are doing our best for readers and hubbers.
Paul, thank you for responding to this post.
In an effort to adapting to the changing ecosystem of online writing, one must remember that writers are repressive emotional creatures. Unlike any other type of job there is something about this kind of art that makes it personal.
How do you feel that Picasso would feel is someone took one of his paintings, painted over it, adding their own ideas and passing it off as his original work? That's how a writer feels about their work.
Editing should be a collaboration, that's how it's always been and how it should be. No writer submits their book for publication and have it edited and published without approving the final draft. It just doesn't happen.
In light of the fact that HP succinctly declares that all hubbers hold the copyright to their work, should be reason enough that HP should never edit a person's work before at least having the digital signature of the hubber.
The copyright owner of any article or publications has to hand over their copyrights to the publisher in order for the publisher to "lock" the copyright holder from their own article.
If you edit, publish and lock someones hub, you are in breech of the United State copyright laws.
HP need to obtain consent from hubber before editing,publishing and locking articles. In the case of http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128409, this person never gave permission. She never gave up her copyright.
You need to take this seriously Paul. You can;t have it both ways. You can't declare that you hold no rights to hubbers works and then go ahead and breech that. You ether retain partial copyright, full rights or none at all.
Ok we are all on board with perfecting HP but what we're not on board with us being forced to sign up to this program and you altering our work without our consent. If you're going to perfect our work isn't it common courtesy and manners to contact each hubber and WAIT FOR THEIR CONSENT and not take no responses as a go ahead and mess with our work. Further more if you're going to edit our work, WORK WITH US and not completely wipe out our work and replace it with your edits.
Furthermore I propose that you change your editors as they are doing a rubbish job. I've had a look at several before and after hubs and quiet frankly the before hubs are so much better. Why don't you find a way to better this site without ruining our work??
Why can't you hire experienced hubbers to do edits? They are so many writers here who are a hell of a lot better than your editors. As a contributor to this site I'm severely disappointed and I know your company is history without us hubbers. If you keep trying to rule over our work, you'll soon find yourselves with no hubbers.
Here's something that might help:
You have a number of writers here who are experts in various fields. Why not use them to help you with certain problem areas.
For example, I am trained in ESOL, as are certain others who write here. I can identify a second language speaker in less than a minute just by looking at a forum post or hub summary. I can also pretty much tell whether they have spun an article or written it as an original. I have sent you numerous reports on people like this, but all are still writing here.
I have no problem spending some of my time helping you out, and I'm sure others would be willing to help with other issues as well. However, we need to know that you will follow through on our suggestions, which is what many of us have not been seeing.
Using the talent you have here could help clean this site up asap, and would cost nothing.
+1000 on this suggestion. I am not trained in ESL, but I can spot those oddities a mile away. There's a ton of spun content on the site, and content that has been translated from another source.
As TT2 mentions, I've also flagged hubs that have obviously flawed summaries (language that is halting and doesn't show even a remote command of English) and nothing is done. Often, the actual hub is of post-graduate quality & very academic. Summaries are not reviewed in QAP it appears - so these types of problems continue to be published.
Great ideas people!
If Paul wants it done even quicker though, he could select his favourite skilled 300 hubbers and pay a small incentive (eg 2c per flag) to get them to really put in the time to make a massive cleanup happen quickly. Some of us would rather be paid, even if it is only a tiny bit, as I'll happily flag bad hubs/writers for 10 or so, but if you want me to do hundreds, it needs to give me something for my time...
As someone who is qualified and experienced in design, writing and marketing, I could flag profiles that show the writer is no good at engagement, originality, presentation, personality or writing in all of their hubs and "doesn't get it" regarding publishing articles online.
The existing editors could be put in charge of getting rid of the junk after assessing the flagged content. Everyone wins!
I have suggested a few times that HP should have a rigorous training course for newbies and none of their hubs would be published till they graduate from training. Several replies stated basically the same thing: "Just who do you think will have time to teach these courses? And, no one will do it for free!"
Well, Lo and Behold, we now have a team of nine paid editors who could run thorough courses on how to write for the internet, learn about plagiarism and copyright laws, how to use HP tools / features, how to use the Learning Center and search the FAQ, understand all the policies, procedures and TOS HP has - plus how to write in English using proper spelling and grammar.
I strongly believe this suggestion would bring on far more success than HubPro is capable of as it is now.
Why not use these editors to teach the training courses (after each editor has taken the training courses and passed). Boot Camp has not been sufficient enough (in most cases) in training and producing good writers who can create quality content. We need rigorous training courses for newbies.
Suggestions for training courses, three phases, each two weeks long.
How to use publishing tools (capsules, etc.)
How to write for the internet. (copyrights, plagiarism, spun articles, paraphrasing, attribution for images). This would consist of five parts with a quiz for each part that must be passed or course taken over.
Using proper English grammar, spelling, sentence structure. Submit five hubs. Each hub will be edited and editor to advise corrections / revisions which newbie must fix.
10 questions on multiple choice quiz
Learning how to work with HubPages features, policies, TOS, LC, FAQ
10 question quiz for each section.
All three phases must be passed (Accolade given for each) before first five hubs of phase 1 are published.
Tough nut to crack? You bet it is - but, HubPages would end up with great writers who produce quality hubs.
I would like to add that there are some people who sign up to HP who can whip through these training courses quickly, because they already have an excellent grasp of English language and great writing skills.
Reposted my suggestions from another thread as thought they might be useful to Paul:
Personally, I'd start the sign up process with a randomly generated long multiple choice questionaire, designed to check spelling, grammar and understanding of English. This is automated and answers are checked against the correct ones so that it filters and narrows down the number of people reaching the next stage and potentially interacting with staff. I'd make this have a number of random Q&A's from a pool, so that no one could tell their friends what the exact answers are (ie make each questionaire as different as possible).
These could be taken from standard teaching resources (while being careful that general, not cultural specific knowledge questions are used - someone in Estonia might not know what a koala or drop bear is, for example or someone in Australia might call flip flops "thongs").
On stage two, then I'd suggest some human assessment (eg write the first two hubs, have them analysed by Hubscore too and have them analysed for acceptance by a HP staff member - plus cross check them for copied content on the web, making sure they aren't copied and pasted from elsewhere). This would be an assessment of sorts, not a training session. There could be feedback and comments about the hubs for future improvement, but essentially people either pass the assessment or they don't.
Anyone who passes these two stages could progress onto a learning pathway suggested by Phyllis' Stage 3, so they can find out where all the HP information is stored.
After that, they are able to go ahead and be part of the community as per your existing pathway.
However, anyone who is obviously and completely substandard could be reported to the team by any hubber, for a human assessment again at any time. This is to make sure anyone gaming the entry test or anyone who gives their account to someone else, or anyone who changes their standard of English in a weird way later on is checked and filtered (if need be), and could receive that form email about what's happening and why.
I understand there are not enough resources to devote to this task. Automating the first bit and making it a very stringent and good test would help a lot. People could be allowed to take the test once every year (IP logging or email verification?), to stop a flood of people having a go every day to get in, causing technical difficulties with the servers and bandwidth. Having some human assessors will definitely be needed for stringent entry requirements - maybe 2 or 3 HubPro editors could be used for this full time. It would take a long time but be well worth it in the long run.
Imagine a Hubpages where you wouldn't have to have editors to fix anything already published! Just peers who offer useful advice for increasing engagement and traffic on hubs and a team of entry assessors (editors of a sort).
This is a good plan, in theory. Getting HP to agree to it is probably going to be a little tough. @ the HP editors -- In some cases (one in particular), someone has to train them first!
That is true: someone would have to train the editors first. The program I am suggesting is basically all automated (with different quizzes at random pertaining to the lessons). If a score of 80 out of 100 is reached, the program allows the trainee to go on to the next step - if the score is too low, the trainee will have to read the lessons again and take the quiz again.
Each phase is automated and results are sent to an editor who is assigned to that particular trainee. The editor evaluates the tests and if all is well and the trainee has perfected their first five hubs, then the editor passes the trainee through graduation.
Therefore, since the training modules are automated, each editor can take the tests and either pass and accepted as an editor or told to study and try again at a later time if there is still an open position.
Edit: Scoring on the quizzes: each quiz consists of 10 questions. 10 points per question possible. Scores above 80 pass.
I like the idea of using automation more and that would definitely help with not having enough staff to tackle the problem.
However, I would not let people take the tests multiple times in a short period, because they could game the system by guessing which answers are correct based on the ones they answered wrongly. I would put longer time periods between people retaking tests.
We all want to make the readers happy, but I think you are seeing here that changing a hub without them knowing about it, and putting words in a hubbers mouth about their (completely untrue) life experiences, is crossing a line for people. Many people write under their own name or a name known to their family--so imagine what could happen!
How are you balancing reader satisfaction with author satisfaction? After all, this site has done a lot which has driven away or lost a lot of good writers. How is this new program going to not have that result too?
If this is still a beta test, how come extra care isn't being taken in regards to contacting people and ensuring that the first authors subjected to this experience have a really good experience?
How come the first participants are being treated in an inconsistent manner, thus giving some of them a bad experience, which then results in them sharing that bad experience immediately, and thus spreading negative PR about your new program before it even gets going? Especially when there is no corresponding sharing of good experiences. (Your reeling off of anonymous Big Data factoids clearly doesn't count for much these days in the Hub trenches.)
Always the voice of reason.
Author satisfaction is really important to us and while the program isn't perfect, a very high percentage are satisfied or extremely satisfied. Although, there are still areas to improve.
I don't like to talk about doom and gloom scenarios, but our current model isn't working. We've tried numerous things to help authors become successful. Editing is just about the only thing I've seen that has a significant opportunity to help individual Hubbers and the community as a whole.
We will keep working on it till we get it right.
If a very high percentage of authors are satisfied or extremely satisfied, where are these people and how come they have nothing to say? Or are those authors not being brought forward because it would reveal that HubPages is focusing primarily on writers and topics from India and our Indian audience? (So far, every human I've tracked who has said something about being in the HubPro beta has turned out to be a writer from India so I'd really appreciate some genuine data to correct/amend what I've collected so far if that is not actually that case.)
I think if you made that gloom and doom statement in one of the weekly newsletters, a lot more people would be aligned with you versus currently against you. Although, I have to say, as someone who studied writing for many years and has been writing online for well over a decade now, your "numerous things to help authors become successful" statement is, in my opinion, a bit off the mark. If I were an editor (which I happen to be) and since we're not writing fiction here, based on my experience at HubPages I'd change that to "we've tried to teach our authors to be our advertising allies, since we really are advertisers ourselves, but that's not working anymore so since we decided not to teach them how to be writers with that wacky experiment we called the Apprentice program, we're skipping any sort of educational strategy and just changing the author's Hubs ourselves to try and re-find that advertising edge we clearly have lost."
If you want to make authors more successful, you have to teach them to write. But the hardest part of teaching writing isn't the technical side, which is what HubPages appears to be focused on with a near-tunnel-vision intensity. Teaching people to think like writers, where they actually have their own thoughts and opinions about things and can construct a viewpoint and then lead a reader through that, is what makes an author successful. From the feedback that has reached the forums, your "HubPros" would seem to be demonstrating that they don't know how to do that themselves. And I find that extremely demoralizing.
As a realist who does customer service triage for a living, I hear what you are saying Paul, but I do not feel that the majority of humans here presently will be here to see that day because they will have voluntarily left long before you "get it right." (whatever that's supposed to mean)
One thing I've learned is that writing well is really hard. It's a skill that I now appreciate much more.
I'm going to put a post about what we will need to do to succeed in the coming weeks. HubPro v2 is coming. We are taking a lot of this feedback and incorporating it.
On education. This is something we would love to do more of. We've tried. There is a pretty robust learning center, we tried a the AP, we show people everyday what a great hub is with HOTD, the forums have people helping all the time, people email us daily with questions, one of the positive comments we've seen from HubPro is authors learn by seeing what the editors do. We are going to keep trying here as well.
One of the things I'd really like to hear is ideas on how we can scalabley improve the quality of the site in ways that positively impacts readers and Hubbers, but at the same time raises quality standards.
Can HP write a utility SQL program that will run thru the hubs database and un-display any Amazon or eBay capsule that hasn't made a sale in the last 60 days?
Then fire off a note to Google saying, "Hi! We just removed 1,523,206 Amazon and eBay ads."
Google just might go flick the be-nicer-to-HP switch on right then and there.
This is a large project we started to look into and will do at some point. Ideally, we could reduce ads on pages that perform really well with sales as well.
The email suggestion made me chuckle:)
I agree that ad heavy pages can be spammy and certainly not healthy for an online publishing platform, but there are also good quality sales pages as well. They can bring a good chunk of income into a site. The key is simply the amount and quality of text in relation to the number of products on a page.
I think you have already made excellent moves to get the site back on track but are you now running willy nilly in a panic? Most enacted change takes at least 3 months to feel a result but yours are barely out the door and you are quickly trying something else.
You have just began to reduce ad heavy articles so why not sit back for a couple months and wait to see the result. Squidoo's biggest blunder toward the end was enacting change upon change upon change in a desperate attempt to gain back traffic. All it did was create insecurity and make the site look increasingly unstable.
Caving into Google 100% is not the answer. When Google gets rid of the competition where will you find your shopping advertisements? Surprise the answer is GOOGLE! Being too dependent on one big powerful entity is not a good thing. Do your best and let your reputation take care of the rest.
Brainstorm How to Improve Quality of HubPages:
Create a weekly topic forum about a particular aspect of quality. Each week people can talk about improving their grammar, or how to make money with Amazon, or interesting poll questions, etc. We can all share our best ideas and help each other.
Make a checklist of what edits would really help improve quality and traffic.
Have a contest. Whoever increased reader satisfaction the most that week wins the prize. Or edited the most hubs, etc.
Don't put hubs on the feed page until they have been featured. (Or as has been suggested, have an on/off switch with the default to be off, so people can see them when they want to do some flagging). This keeps bad hubs from getting any traffic and lets people see HubPages as the quality site it is.
Paul, I really do believe that there is a lot more hubber to hubber help / training than we realize - and I know from personal experience it works.
To assign a mentor (experienced hubber knowledgeable in using hub tools and what can or cannot be in hubs, etc.) to a newbie would be very beneficial. An experience hubber would have to apply to join a mentoring group and be available. A newbie could choose from the list of mentors after reviewing profiles and hubs of mentors. Mentors would not be allowed to have more than three newbies at a time. The mentoring training process should have a set time period for heavy training. This can really help a newbie and slow down the mundane questions asked on forum threads where the newbie often gets false advice. It also builds teamwork and produces higher quality hubs. Please consider this idea.
What is the incentive for these mentors to spend large quantities of their time, effort and expertise holding the hands of one to three other people?
I've mentored and coached people. It's time consuming and draining. When I was making a full-time living from this site, I spent two to three hours per day just reading Hubs, flagging spam like crazy and answering questions in the forums. I do not do that now because I cannot afford to do it.
For me, the incentive is knowing I can do my part in building a stronger community that produces higher quality hubs.
I have mentored writers on another site for several years and I was able to still keep my own schedule and meet my deadlines. A mentor does not have to spend large quantities of time with a newbie if the mentor knows how to work properly and use their time well. One would not spend more than an hour or two per day at the most, IF the mentor has strong stamina and determination, plus the knowledge, to do the job well and as quickly as possible. I never found it "draining" - I found it very rewarding. Then to see that newbie step out on their own and succeed is worth it all. I spent about 3 hours with a newbie a few nights ago and he is already well on his way.
To know that I did my part, even if small, to help HubPages become a stronger community of hubbers who support each other and support the staff, would be my reward. It takes time and commitment from hubbers, yes, but that is what HP needs in my opinion.
I wish someone had helped me when I first started. My main problem was formatting and using capsules way back then. I think we should help when we can, but I don't know if most writers have time for more than one person at a time.
It depends on the individual who wants to help / mentor. For me, I retired early and spend most of my time each day on HubPages. I do have time to help one to three people. I agree that many hubbers do not have the spare time to do this, but for those who can it is a good thing.
I see far too many newbies getting poor or erroneous advice in forum threads. The newbie does not know any better, thinks they received expert advice and thus, we have another newbie creating low quality hubs based on bad advice.
Paul, you write, "There is a pretty robust learning center, ..."
"Robust" would be an understatement. The whole problem with the learning center is that it needs to go on a diet!
It is confusing, difficult to navigate to find the answers that might be sought, and in the end, people give up, and either:
b) send you e-mails or
c) post their questions here in the forums.
You cannot expect people to try to wade through what is nearly a full college course on writing in the learning center. That's not what folks signed on to do. More than that, it's an attempt at a crash-college-course in a very specialized writing area, and not about novel writing, essay writing, or journalistic writing. It's all about satisfying the "Google God."
I find it appalling that "The Big G" has gained that much power over everything, and eliminated virtually all other search engines! I remember many others; Alta Vista, Northern Light, Ask Jeeves, and a few others whose names I cannot recall at this moment. Then, there are the ones that are still around, but less used: MSN, Yahoo, AOL, and the johnny-come-lately, Bing, about which you no longer hear much. IMO, Google is very close to being in violation of the anti-trust laws...just swallow a few more, and ... ...
HP has showcased the backgrounds of all the HubPro editors in the Newsletter and on the Blog. But, looking at an editor's resume is one thing; looking at actual performance is quite another.
I looked at the Profiles for the nine editors.
I couldn't find a Profile for one editor. Four editors have no Hubs, one editor has one Hub and three editors have two Hubs. One Hub written by an editor had 423 words, 5 product links and a child's toy that is a Meth lab.
Bottom line: Not one editor has passed Boot Camp.
If the goal of HubPro is to increase traffic to Hubs from search engines, shouldn't the editors personally demonstrate that they can write Hubs which generate high traffic? Some of these editors were hired last May. Where are their personal Hubs?
Paul E. says that in all these many months, only 1,000 Hubs have been edited by HubPro. That's less than 100 Hubs per editor. What are these editors doing with all of their time? And why does a single Hub take weeks to 'edit' while it is waiting on illustrations?
Your findings (or lack thereof) regarding editors and their qualifications is too sad for words.
We do assess editors constantly. They get scores that we pull everyday that shows their user satisfaction and traffic changes. We report on them as a group as well. To HubPro edit a hub it takes about 5 hrs a hub.
One thing I find really interesting is that some people are really good at picking topics to write about. They can grow traffic quickly however they aren't world class writers. Eventually panda catches up with them. In cases where we have paired them up with editors, the combination has been outstanding.
I'd really like to find a way to bring these different skills more efficiently together.
Paul, please read this one blurb about Emily Drevets from the Meet The Team page and tell us what about this editor should inspire confidence in her skills:
"Originally from Oklahoma (yes, like the musical), Emily went to college at Boston University where she graduated with a degree in International Relations before jetting off to study Arabic in Egypt and then moving to San Francisco to be a writer (in English). She is certain that all of this will make sense one day. Like many writers, Emily found accidental success in marketing before leaving it to continue following her dreams for a living. The dreams have expanded a bit to include acting and improv, but don't worry, they're just as impractical as ever. When not editing for HubPages, Emily can be found near a stage or with her face in an ice cream cone. Or both." http://hubpages.com/about/team
What part of that introduction shows that she has experience as an editor? She has a degree, you might say. Anyone can have a degree (or 2 or 3) but her degree is in International Relations, which has nothing to do with writing content. But she moved to San Francisco to be a writer, you might say. There are a lot of writers and would-be writers in SF and in the USA for that matter. Can or did she make a living at it? If so, her name would be recognizable like Tami Hoag or Tess Gerritsen or any number of other authors. Or she would have many writing credits to tout in her bio blurb on the Team page. Just because one wants to write, it doesn't make them a writer. Are there samples of her work for hubbers to see?
There is nothing in the blurb that would inspire a hubber to have confidence in this editor. The last part alone is as too childish for words - "Emily can be found near a stage or with her face in an ice cream cone." What kind of intro is that? If you were a hubber in need of an editor, would this editor be your choice? I think not.
A quick Google search of her name returned over 200 results of sites where she is registered, but with no content. There are blogs she started but never posted and profiles that are incomplete. She is a train wreck yet she got hired as an HP editor.
A look at Aneegma's before and after shows she doesn't think twice about taking liberties with the author's work by interjecting "personal experiences" that a reader will assume belong the author, when in fact they are the fabrication of the editor.
Is this type of editing condoned by HubPages?
You can assess editors and give them scores all you want. Hubbers know what they see in the results of the editing to their hubs and that is the only evaluation they have to go by.
That is beyond horrible, Rachel! Since I opted OUT of the program from the get-go, I did not bother to read the qualifications (or lack thereof) of any of the so-called "professional" editors.
And no, I would most certainly NOT hire the person described in that bio, were I, in fact, in search of an editor!
I have to totally agree with you that some people can attract traffic but can't write worth a hill of beans. It's one of the problems with the Internet. I also believe you that their success is short-lived. Eventually their traffic has to wane.
If you had an in-house SEO, he could pick the best keyword phrase topics and then you could assign those to the best writers on HP, writers who don't need hand-holding and who have written highly-trafficked Hubs.
It doesn't take five hours to do keyword research for a single Hub title/topic. Think of the cost-savings and the efficiency. (Not to mention happier Hubbers.)
This is a great suggestion WF. Most of us here are not good at SEO and helping us with that could definitely improve traffic, income and the site as a whole.
It goes something like this: The SEO identifies highly-trafficked keyword phrases with little competition. Then, the SEO actually looks at the webpages which rank 1 – 20 on search engine results pages for a keyword phrase.
From that information, the SEO writes a webpage Title (tag), the Meta Description tag (Summary on HP) and two or three Alt Image tags (confused with the caption on HP) – all of which should be within the character-limits Google sets (not used by HP) – then the SEO turns the assignment over to a content writer.
If the content writer is not an SEO content writer, then the SEO steps in to make sure the H2 tags (capsule titles on HP) are correct for effective SEO, that the keyword phrase is used appropriately, and that internal and external links are appropriate. Then the page is posted.
lol. I thought that was kind of the purpose of the facility that suggested hub titles ages ago ... that they were poised ready for lots of traffic. Seems though there was no SEO research associated with them, sadly.
While your suggestion is excellent in theory, Writer Fox, I can't see how it could possibly be implemented fairly.
How would the content writers be chosen?
Yeah, I was kind of liking the idea too. Many people can write well but are not too good at SEO. I've figured out some of it, but I admit I'm a novice.
I can't imagine a high traffic, "proven track record" type of hub needing 5 hours of editing. What the heck are they editing? The hub has proven to be a draw, and I assume, it's making money.
Five hours would be better spent on those hubs that need grammar, spell check and layout corrections. Even at that, I can't see spending - at the most - a couple of hours on the task. Five hours is a bit much, even if your estimate is done with the law of averaging.
To improve a hub substantially, it's more intensive than we originally thought. Small gains can be made more quickly, but significant improvements are hard work.
Since you mentioned before that your concern is that the Hubs "might" lose traffic, not that they have lost traffic, perhaps "significant improvements" aren't needed.
I think it is also a misconception that all Internet surfers appreciate the HP definition of a "stellar" Hub. Many surfers are not highly educated and don't connect with a layout which looks like an encyclopedia entry. To connect with a searcher for a given inquiry is not a one-size-fits-all. Each Hub targets a different audience.
There is a Hubber who writes about early pregnancy detection. The audience her Hubs attract don't want an article that looks like it was written by the Mayo clinic. They are mostly teenagers who want a simple answer. Her Hubs are successful, have been shared hundreds of times on social sites, and have hundreds of comments. Those Hubs succeed where many EC and "stellar" Hubs do not.
TYVM for your reply, Paul.
While I don't think you'll get around to reading every suggestion on this forum, I hope after reading at least 10 or so, you'll get the idea that most commenters are not in agreement that editing a hub with a good track record is a good idea when there are so many others that can actually be improved with the editing service.
Before you click to reply, I did hear you when you itemized it above. You can explain it to me until you're blue but I still won't "get it" as to why those "headliner" hubs are being singled out to be improved.
The logic doesn't compute for me. If HP wants to gain more favor in Google's eyes, to me - it stands to reason that HP needs to clean out the garbage (spam, etc.) and then improve the substandard articles so that the site is attractive to Google, as a whole, not just the headliners.
I too fail to understand this obsession with comparing the cream of HP to other, better ranking sites. If those high traffic hubs already attract good traffic, then leave them alone. Improve lesser hubs so they too can gain high traffic. More hubs with good traffic, better overall, Duh!
Plus there is so much more that urgently needs fixing instead of messing with the best content on the site.
Close dead/abandoned accounts/subdomains.
Deal with keyword overstuffed summaries.
Make ads open on a new page.
Give us a means of adding alt-tags to images.
This is because you are trying to take pieces of coal and create them into diamonds! Any teacher knows this. Learning is a very long and tedious process, and frankly, I do not think HP is the place to be doing this.
Perhaps you should be advertising for skilled writers instead of "just anybody who thinks he can write or who has a dream".
You guys are trying to catch the horse after it has left the barn, and he is disappearing into the mist.
Agree about the pieces of coal! This is a very important point.
HP should move on from being a training ground to the real deal - skilled writers which can make incomes from their hubs. HP should support and teach these people, not keep making them feel like leaving due to too many rules and changes when trying to make the big pool of bad writers follow a yardstick.
Paul - thanks for being willing to read input from the community. My two cents:
Rather than relying on the somewhat subjective and unreliable QAP to review content that has already been written, create a writing test for new "Hubbers" that requires them to pass a level of literacy and skill in English. To its credit, every week, we have forum posts (written in broken English) asking how the OP can get their hubs 'approved.' These are people who come here only because they think they'll post just about anything and get rich from writing online. You're spending a ton of time and money dealing with this type of new "Hubber."
Use your cadre of "Editors" to start purging the site of junk.
Pay more attention to the flags and reports we submit about poor content and spam. It seems some might be passed up based on traffic rather than actual quality issues. As others have mentioned (here and elsewhere) we often notice that our suggestions for moderation or for deleting hubs are just plain ignored.
Increase the help we get on SEO - if the site's high-quality content (not high traffic - high quality) can be given more SEO juice, you'll increase traffic as well as the degree to which Google smiles on the site.
As you mentioned, the current HP model isn't working. Maybe the 'open door' is part of that problem. It's very labor-intensive to deal with tons of new-and-very-bad content rather than creating a gate that screens writers before they are allowed to publish anything.
I would like to see some hubs by these editors about how to write articles that draw traffic. Then we can better form opinions on their expertise (if they have any). Marisa, Relache and a few others have written such hubs and it is very beneficial to the site as a whole. If the editors can do this, then maybe we will be able to build some trust and faith in them.
I think each editor should be required to write at least one hub a week on different topics to help train new writers and keep experienced writers up to date with online reader demands.
You have hit the underlying issue right on the head. You can teach people to write, but you cannot teach them to think...at least not in this environment. There are a good number of really outstanding writers here, but there are also a good number of mediocre to poor ones who just never seem to "get it". Last month I identified 21 writers to the team whose work I felt was substandard for one reason or another. Only one article was unpublished.
As a former English teacher with a Masters Degree and someone who has written online for a good number of years, I feel I am as qualified as anybody to analyze people's work. I constantly see errors with language usage, spelling, focus and flow that somehow have passed through our QAP.
If this site is failing, it is because writers like these have been permitted to stay here long after they should have been removed.
It is not my place to fix this problem, but I do know that if the team does not refocus its efforts and eliminate the dross, none of us will be here in the future because there will be no HP.
Yes indeed. When you see posts such as: "Why no get traffic. how i get Google read me page." You know you have a problem.
What gets me is why anybody with such poor language skills thinks he or she is qualified to write on a site like this. It's a formula for failure and does nothing to improve anything for anybody. It also drags the site down and makes it lose rank.
I'm one of the satisfied writers. I appreciate what Paul and team are trying to do. I would allow HP editors to go to work on my hubs that aren't getting any traffic, but I'd prefer to leave the others alone. I'd opt in if it were on a hub by hub basis, and we could switch if off when we didn't want it.
There's something to be said for the adage, "Every writer needs an editor." Maybe more of us would jump at this chance, if we could select our own hubs for potential changes.
More suggestions are being posted here too:
Well you should concentrate on improving the hubs that are of lower quality and obviously need help, not the high quality well written hubs that already have high traffic.
My highest traffic hubs went from around 2,900 ish per day to 3,800 ish per day after editing.
I was nervous about messing about with what was working, but it's definitely helped me.
I am willing to give it a go and haven't opted out. As long as I am notified and get to discuss the edits or change back to the original if unhappy, I don't see a problem. However I doubt any of my hubs will be chosen.
It makes you wonder how HP rates hubs. They say that increasing views and reader satisfaction is the main goal, surely a hub attracting over 3000 in 24 hours would rate close to 100. I am always amazed at some of my highest scoring hubs..they are never the ones with the highest views.
It's just another indication of how far off the HP evaluation of a good Hub is from Google's evaluation of a good webpage. Also, HP's method of evaluating 'reader satisfaction' is not a valid measurement in my opinion. The Hub I mentioned above has over 2,000 shares on social media. To me, that is a much greater indication of reader satisfaction.
If someone is searching for specific information, and find it in a hub, they are unlikely to share it. If you want to know, for instance, what a left hand thread is on a bolt, and find it in a hub, are you going to share that bit of esoteric knowledge with all your FB friends? Unlikely.
Which means that FB shares are not necessarily a good indication. While you might share something you found particularly interesting or funny (and well written), much of what people actually search for isn't shared at all no matter how well written the hub might be. Only those of general interest, something a reader comes across while surfing, or maybe something newsworthy that fits into a current discussion on their FB.
Nor is simple traffic the answer; a poorly written hub in a topic with decent searches but low competition may get the views from G by default more than by being well written.
Seems more that all these things, coupled with additional factors, must be combined somehow into one number.
I don't know how many Hubs you had edited, but you do have some which were written five years ago and might have needed some updating.
I have a single Hub which got over 3,400 views in the past 24-hours, without HubPro editing. In fact, HP hates that Hub. The HubScore is only 78! I can tell you emphatically that I don't want anyone touching that Hub!
I would not want to gamble on a high trafficked hub like that being edited.
If that was in response to my comment, I haven't had any edited yet and they probably won't be. If I had any with the sort of traffic you mention I wouldn't want them touched either writer fox. I am of the belief they should only edit the lesser hubs that need improving and increased traffic.
That particular comment was a reply to Susana. Here's what I replied to your post: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128471? … ost2705364
I had around half a dozen edited. They're all evergreen so the edits didn't relate to the updating of information, they were mostly fixing some awkward sentences and taking out superfluous ones.
They hadn't been ignored for 5 years either, I've edited those hubs many times myself. My approach has always been to make sure each hub is working as hard as it can, and for me that comes down to frequent analysis and improvement.
At the end of the day I know I'm not a great writer so I was curious to see what changes an editor would make, and how it would impact traffic. I like to experiment and measure the effects. In my case it was worthwhile.
I knew very little harm would come to my hubs because they are well established and any changes I didn't like could easily be reversed. So I didn't feel like the risk was that big.
But if it's not for you that's fine too. Everyone can make the choice for themselves. I wanted to let people reading these recent threads know that there have also been positive experiences of hubpro and making a decision based on one or two people's bad experiences could be unwise.
My lenses were transferred over to HP last year but I've not written a new hub yet and am disquieted on reading this chain of discussion. Is it true that new editors are rewriting some of our hub text? That would make me very unhappy if it were to be done to my writing in an effort to improve the quality. Much of my writing is personal and no one else could possibly write in my voice. I'd be grateful for clarification.
Just opt out if you don't want to have your work edited. There's an option on your profile page to do so.
The factoids also lean vague. "Satisfaction" may be what Hubpages want but data about the hubs relative traffic/earnings is what would convince me to opt in. e.g. if the hubs were on average in the 56th percentile for monthly earnings and when up to the 60th percentile or some such after outside editing.
You may not realize that your marketing to us is really hitting some sour notes which might make us seem less than reasonable to you. For example a good number of us are mid to late career in writing-related professions. So just saying "do what our HuPro editors say because they are super-experts.... well".
psycheskinner, we certainly appreciate that thought and will work on improving our procedures around this type/style of content.
Cardisa, That's another good piece of feedback about the content Hubbers post. HubPages has always had the right to modify hubs in our ToS, but we even went a bit farther with an opt-out for editing at this stage. We don't take editing lightly and are working really hard on our policies and procedures to improve it. I'll also take a note to make it much more prominent that Hubs may be modified once they're posted.
From a legal stand point, I am positive HubPages has their "ducks in a row".
I feel so much better knowing that.
They certainly do have their ducks in a row on the copyright score. I feel a bit edgy on this latest thread with Paul's comments. There was a very good reason that he bought Squidoo writers for a bargain. But if he sees his way through the mess now, his will be the only writing site to stand the very essential "test" of Google at this time regarding the issues he is facing. No mean feat at all and if he pulls it off, HP will be even stronger and better again for it. Good luck Paul, and don't forget to read all my comments!!!
PS - this thread has made me stay up way past my bedtime. But if my feedback helps then it is well worth it.
How about giving us an opportunity to OPT OUT before our six months is up, please?
The experience of others who have been edited has left me with a bad taste for the editorial program and a loss of confidence in the end result, despite what the NPS numbers indicate. Reader satisfaction is useless if your authors are unsatisfied. They are your bread and butter and the lifeline of your business.
I would like to be assured that no one will be "messing'' with my work, especially without my consent should they "try" to contact me and for unknown reasons, I fail to respond. This does not indicate consent to edit my hubs. That is perhaps the worst rub of all.
Paul, most of the Hubbers here want HubPages to be successful. We also want HubPro to be successful. We agree with you that we want the quality of the site to be better.
The key is to work as a team with the Hubbers instead of being at odds against them. I've made a list of suggestions on the other forum post, so I won't repeat it here.
One thing that is evident is that you want to reduce or eliminate spammy hubs. We agree. We are helping identify the spammy hubs and working on reducing the spamminess of our own hubs as we understand the new rules. Give it time. This is a new way of thinking for some of us.
I would like to add a couple of additional recommendations:
1. The work of the HubPro editors should be reviewed by a more experienced member. This way, the changes are sure to conform to the rules of the site and online writing, and someone can check to make sure the quality that is expected is being delivered. This is a new team, new to the site. They need a lot of guidance.
2. General information about what kinds of issues HubPro members are finding should be shared with the rest of us. This way, instead of just a few people being helped, the rest of us can also benefit from the program in an indirect way. Even though we aren't new, we now have a new quality culture. We also need help in figuring out what that means.
I agree that most people want HubPages to be successful. It's also true that our industry has changed significantly and it's taken us several years to see a path forward. Change is hard.
As we plan the next iteration of HubPro, we will definitely be looking at improving the review process as well as the assignment process. Also, we are still trying to figure out how to best improve certain types of content. When we do, we will share the best practices.
Instead of paying editors, why not just pay authors of high-traffic hubs a bonus if they spruce up their high-traffic hubs on their own? Who would know better how to maintain that high traffic than the author herself -- someone whose traffic numbers are proof that she knows what she is doing. Sounds like it would be cheaper than maintaining your motley crew of editors whose work seems inconsistent, if the forum posts are evidence.
Agreed. It would make much more sense to pay the author to edit their own work and not bring in some amateur that completely destroys the author's words and message they were conveying.
I'd love to figure out how to increase the scale of editing while improving the quality. I'll take this idea to be considered - having the author edit their own Hubs.
Agree with Calculus, that's a great idea.
Here's another idea - how about on every individual hub that is up that is up to par standards and engagement-wise, it gets a little star or badge or feature of some sort, with a % increase value paid to the hubber who owns it (eg add an extra 10% income for the hubber - it would have to be meaty enough to make it worth everyone's while).
This means that any newbies or others looking for examples of how to engage or write stellar hubs for better income can be told to look at "starred" examples, because they work well and earn the extra %. It doesn't have to be high trafficked hubs, just general baseline acceptable standard hubs that benefit the site and are what you are looking for. Eg a little like HOTD except everyone's eligible and it's not a prize or draw, just a sort of accolade and boost to income.
You could then market this to newbies as "to get some decent income, many hubbers create star-type hubs."
I will be unpopular for saying this, but hubs that are not starred get less (eg 10%) income than they do now, unless they are fixed up, either by the author or the editors or whomever. The old carrot and stick trick.
This means that prettymuch anyone motivated by money on this site has an incentive to fix their hubs up. I feel everyone should be emailed if something like this occurs, so that everyone is aware of the changing income and what they need to do to boost it.
Also, any types of hubs or topics that don't help the site and don't earn money (ie sitting ducks) should receive some free advice on how to fix these so they can be of use to the site overall. They can be given a choice of editing by your team, editing by the author (followed by an assessment) or deletion.
Another idea that could help out financially is to guarantee longevity of subdomains for people who pay for them. For example, I like to use my subdomain as a sort of writing profile to show off to employers etc. This means, that in return for a very small payment each year, I will get free lifetime support of the Hubpages platform and know that my subdomain will be live and earning as long as I pay for it. I can't be bothered doing my own site as it's too much work, so I'd rather stay here and pay a little for the software etc - especially if my starred hubs have a greater chance of income boosting! Paying for my subdomain would mean that I would not have to make any changes, ever on my subdomain. That it would not have any opt-out programs etc. If Google won't like it and it's not worth paying for because content is crappy, I will soon leave, solving you the problem of getting rid of me! Essentially it is like paying for hosting + software + community + guaranteed longevity (ie if the ship is sinking, my subdomain is guaranteed regardless, as long as I pay for it).
Hubpages has been long known as a compassionate platform, inclusive of everyone. At some point, allowing people to publish bad content is going to tip the ship. Hubpages might need to be more discerning and hold itself up as a candle of wonderful writers on the web, rather than being open to every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants to be a writer but really doesn't stand a hope in hell. As you pointed out, writing well is a hard trick to learn. Some people can learn and improve with practise and some really just can't. Also see my comment further down the thread about HP not being a free English course for people.
Don't forget, with all the other writing sites closing down and more and more writers getting involved online, you're not going to be short of new writers joining (or I wouldn't imagine anyway).
Can (will) a thief scan HP for hubs with that little star or badge, scraping anything that has it? Leave mine off, please.
They probably will. But the little badge doesn't signify traffic, it signifies an average hub that is acceptable to HP.
Google puts copycat content below original content in search results. While I hate copycats as much as the next person, you have to remember that you are still reaping the benefits of your original content. If you never lift a finger in getting rid of duplicates of your work, you will still be OK in search results.
Paul, I edit my own hubs to bring them into compliance with the new format (full width capsules) and steer towards the "stellar hub" goals.
I would support HubPro ONLY if editors did NOT enter and lock hubs, but worked with the hubber via email - then the hub would be edited by the author who created it, based on the revisions the editor suggests. If the author does not edit the hub and bring it into feature status within a designated time period, then it would be unfeatured.
This is a simple solution and one I suggested long before any editors were hired and HubPro came out. Please consider this.
The editor who worked on two of mine communicated regularly, and thanked me for my responses.
I told her about some of my specific concerns with what she proposed and she deferred to my wishes. She did some things to improve my hubs, and a few things that I "needed" to change back to the way I had it.
Overall, it was fine with me... and views have escalated a bit.
I think the editors are working under a specific set of goals from the administration, so it is a challenge for them, as well.
As long as they give us the final word, it's all good.
I also suggest and highly recommend that your editors be sent through a rigorous training program on how to write for internet content. I have taken some rigorous training courses from other sites I wrote for and it helped me a great deal.
I have not to my knowledge been subjected to Hub Pro editing yet so do not have my own experience to draw on. However I am concerned that it appears that authors work is being edited without first asking for their opinion on the proposed changes. Locking an author out when the site claims not to take control of the work and leaves the title with the author is definitely an infringement on copyright law wherever the author may reside.
We all appreciate that the site is provided by HP and that they make their return from the advertisements on the site. If the revenue falls then this model may no longer be sustainable. There are two solutions charge for usage of HP, or increase the quality of the site so that the revenue increases to cover all of the costs again.
Paul seems to be wanting to improve quality and that is the purpose of the editors. For this to work however requires buy in by the authors. This means that whatever HP do they need a consensus from the members. The site is actually a writers co-operative whether or not that has been realized, especially as the split is 60% to 40% in favor of the writers.
I appreciate what HP is trying to do, but there needs to be more room for input from the members especially those that are creating the income.
I certainly have some "problem" hubs that are less successful than I think they should be--if it were a hub-specific volunteer system I would opt those ones in.
The more constructive we can be as a community the better. I'm going to lay this out there and will read all the suggestions (even if I don't respond).
My top priority is keeping HubPages financially viable while tackling these two things.
1. We have to significantly improve reader satisfaction. The single biggest lever we have is editing content. How can we do this in a scalable fashion, at a professional level, that satisfies readers and Hubbers?
2. How do we control spam from egregious link and product spam to mild keyword stuffing?
If we solve these two things within our financial constraints, I believe traffic, revenue, Hubber satisfaction and reader satisfaction will all dramatically increase.
1. Improving reader satisfaction CAN begin with eliminating the amount of spam and spammers infiltrating HP, which means cutting them off within the first 5 minutes after they publish a SPAMMY hub or forum. I have been reporting them and 4 hours later the published hub or forum post is still on the site.
2. Editing content should NOT be focused on hubs that have a good track record in views, comments, poll answers and author revenue. These are your good performers, why would you want to mess with them?
3. Editing services should be focused on hubs that are of poor structure and hubbers who do not have a grasp of the English language, grammar and spelling. Editing content should not completely alter the author's original hub (as in the case with Aneegma in another forum), nor should an editor interject personal experiences to portray them as those belonging the hubber.
4. Your question: How can we do this in a scalable fashion at a professional level that satisfies readers and Hubbers? We do not KNOW that readers are dissatisfied with what they are reading. Reader engagement does not seem to be a problem when you see the comment numbers and poll responses on individual hubs. The traffic to this site (hub views) is amazing. If you are measuring by reader satisfaction polls/surveys, these have been notoriously skewed because many people HATE surveys and answer the same response down the line just to get it off the screen! I think too much emphasis has been given to reader satisfaction stats and it hasn't been correlated to the view count.
5. HP should worry when view counts drop drastically because it can mean that 1) the site has been cloned yet again 2) the topics are either stale or over-saturated or 3) hubbers have flown the coop and ceased writing here.
6. Controlling spam can be done using some of those new employees to nip it in the bud quickly - like as soon as they post. That may mean a whole department dedicated to it until it is under control.
7. I think HP has lost sight of the fact that they have a great site here, great writers (and with brains too). Sometimes improvement is not warranted, especially in the areas HP is looking at - like editing high performance hubs and ignoring hubs that seriously need tweaking due to grammar and spelling etc.
8. As for Hubber satisfaction, I think most hubbers are very satisfied writing here or they would have left already. For those who are still on the fence due to recent HubPro experiences, it will get better when all of the above falls into place, when Hubbers feel confident that their work will not be tampered with to the point of not recognizing their own hubs, and when certain HP programs weigh in to the favor of the hubber and not solely to the favor of the management.
9. I understand the need to constantly improve the site, but sometimes over-improvement (as with a house) can devalue it. I think that is where HP is heading if the tweaking doesn't get focused to eliminating the one trick ponies (either no hubs or just one hub and they are gone), the spammy hubs, forums, and product links.
This is my opinion only and I certainly do not speak for ALL hubbers on this site. You asked for input, and ...I gave it.
For what it's worth, after some initial misgivings I am happy with hubpro and glad that I decided to participate.
There wasn't an instant effect but my traffic is up by a good 30% several months later and I put that down to the program (alongside EC).
I think the main issues to address with hubpro are to get explicit consent before working on someone's hubs, and also make it very clear that hubs will be locked until the edits are done and explain why.
Susana S, Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for mentioning the time lag. Here's how I think it works and why we focus on high traffic pages.
User satisfaction is a significant piece of Google's algorithm. While I'm not sure how Google determines user satisfaction, we have found a significant correlation between dwell times on a page and our user satisfaction metric. However Google collects this data, I feel it's heavily view weighted. Meaning that Google needs lots of real user data to determine a site/page quality change. When we edit high traffic pages, this speeds up that process and since most of a Hubber's traffic is concentrated in a few pages, by editing these and making them significantly better, the average dwell time increases for the page/site. Google then sees that users are materially happier and then they send it more traffic.
Since Panda is a site wide ranking factor, the most direct path of improving our quality signals and traffic (for all Hubbers) is by significantly improving the Hubs that drive the majority of the traffic.
There are two things Google looks at: Whether or not the searcher clicks back to the search results page and clicks through to another listing and whether or not the searcher clicks on a link or an ad and leaves the webpage.
You have no way of knowing whether or not a user returns to the SERP and clicks on another listing. Unless your HubPro editing is adding extra content to a Hub, time on the page will not be increased by editing. The time it takes to read the page will be the same. Clicking on ads is profitable, so that is not a bad thing. But, because ads and links do not open in a separate window, it can register as low-time-on-page. HP could and should correct that.
You've got this and your priorities backwards. Panda targets the low-quality content on the site. A Hub which is receiving mega traffic from Google is a webpage which Google considers to be high-quality. HP is full of duplicate Hub Titles, Hubs targeting the same keyword phrases, thin content, low-quality affiliate content, copycat Hubs, and the like. I can show you entire Profiles with hundreds of spam Hubs that are still featured, though they have been reported. This is what hurts the entire HP ranking. You should be addressing the low-quality content.
It's no secret that Panda hit HP hard right after the influx of tens of thousands of webpages from Squidoo. Adding all of that content actually lowered traffic to HP. How could tons of new content lower traffic? Too much of that new content was low quality, spammy, similar to content already on HP, using Page Titles already on HP, etc., and that lowered traffic to the entire HP site as a consequence. 'Editing' highly-trafficked Hubs is not going to change those statistics.
And, there are still violations of basic Google Webmaster Guidelines. Use of Alt tags is not a Google suggestion; it is a requirement. A photo caption and a photo Alt tag are two different things. HP doesn't even provide Hubbers with a place to insert an Alt tag and uses the caption instead. That's wrong.
You stated, "I don't like to talk about doom and gloom scenarios, but our current model isn't working." Then I advise you to replace those editors with SEOs. Nine SEOs can clean up HP in just a few months and turn the site around. After nine years, HP still has no SEO on staff. The results of that are plain to see. Google tightens the screws every day – more than 600 algorithm changes were made in 2014. HP is way behind the game and hiring more editors does not address this basic problem.
I agree with parts of this from an SEO perspective - especially getting rid of spam/low quality pages. We have hired several of the industries best SEOs and I meet regularly with some of the most successful and I think people are coming to a modified conclusion. Lots of low quality content has/is coming down. We will get to more of it.
My theories on Panda have evolved. First, the question of high traffic pages. In reality, Google sends a lot of traffic to pages that aren't very good (I think if we shared traffic data, people would be surprised). I think they may even do this intentionally to some pages. Essentially Google is getting a view weighted quality metric for the site. The best way to influence this signal is to improve high traffic Hubs. From the data we have, it's working.
The other set of data Google uses comes from crawling/indexing where they classify pages (I know you know this WF, but not everyone does). Then they combine the real word user satisfaction data with document classification to come up with a panda score (over simplified).
I've done a ton of work on this theory. At a very high level I reviewed sites that are doing well and sites that are doing poorly from Panda. We scored documents from these sites. Here is what we have found. Most sites doing well and poorly are actually pretty close (in similar content space as us) in average quality. We rate pages on a 1 - 10 scale. For illustration purposes, HubPages and Wikihow are both about 6.3 on average. However, the most trafficked pages on Wikihow are about 11% better than the average high traffic Hub. 11% in terms of simple percentage is actually like the difference in 5 hours worth of work on a Hub.
My estimation is the site HubPages is about 5% short on average. For one of our editors to increase a Hub 10% it takes about 5 hours of work. I think a 3% gain can be had in an hour worth of work. So, if everyone put in 1 - 2 hours on their high traffic Hubs. Organizing them better, fixing grammar and spelling, removing non-relevant content, and making them more robust, the site could achieve a user satisfaction score that is as good as the sites doing well.
I think too that Google takes into account the longevity or long term reputation of an online persona and ranks their pages with this included. Hope so anyway My pen name tends to do quite well. I have just recently begun using my real name online and so will see how it does over time. There are many factors to take into account.
Very interesting. One of the most educational threads I've read.
I totally get where you're coming from.
I've seen the same effect on subdomains that have had panda penalties applied. Those with high traffic can recover that much faster than those with low traffic once remedial work has been undertaken.
My thinking has been that Google must test searcher satisfaction over a set number of search impressions....or maybe as a % of the average search traffic per keyword.
The answer to both of these questions can be solved by mobilising your thousands of existing employees (ie hubbers and staff) with small incentives.
Too many sticks and not enough incentives make people leave. Lots of carrots and one blunt stick means all the good people will stay. People can follow simple rules, but too much change and too many rules scare everyone.
1. We have to significantly improve reader satisfaction. The single biggest lever we have is editing content. How can we do this in a scalable fashion, at a professional level, that satisfies readers and Hubbers?
Give existing hubbers (your workforce) incentives to improve. As I said in my comment earlier in this thread, star the good hubs. Don't star the bad ones. Improve % income on the starred hubs. Remove % income on the bad hubs (one hand pays the other, so no cost from your pocket). Offer the editing team to help anyone who wants help on a pre-approved, opt-in, hub by hub basis. Offer incentives of some sort for existing hubbers who want to mentor people or to help out with editing, as many of them will be experienced enough to be great editors and many of them might work more hours or harder than existing editors, possibly.
2. How do we control spam from egregious link and product spam to mild keyword stuffing?
Set limits on what people are allowed to do and plan these limits for the future. Whatever Google wants today, plan ahead by 2 steps. Try to envision what will be needed a few years from now. For example, back in the old days when everyone was writing 700 word hubs, I wrote 2500 ones. Guess who sits pretty with the preplanning? Plan ahead, don't just react for today. One thing is for sure, Google is hunting for quality content and the bar just gets set higher over time.
Stick utterly to the limits. Anything not following these limits has one warning via email and then is unpublished (ie if a hub has 20 Amazon products and no original writing etc). Offer all the help you can if people want to publish these hubs again with edits. Ignore the screams from people who cannot follow simple instructions in English (make sure there are instructions). You could always say in the warning dialogue box that Hubpages cannot afford to host spammy hubs and that edits will be needed to publish it again.
The idea is not to worry about the bad writers leaving, it is about giving people the chance to learn the new rules and adapt with your help. And to retain the good writers (a priority for you....let's not turn off our good writers who've spent years learning and earning on here).
So what if HP is a little smaller after fallout. Are we better off being a little smaller and higher quality and attracting quality newbies, or better off being bigger with tons of spam and the whole ship sinks?
Well, now, that would kill seasonally very successful hubs.
Good point. I wonder if HP has an in-house record field that indicates whether a hub is seasonal? And if so, what season? wi sp su fa, and a or e for all/evergreen. That is something HP has needed to know for other reasons as well. Getting that field populated would be a major project, no way it could be done manually by staff. Sensing traffic over time and filling the field accordingly would be one way. Another could be adding check boxes in the HubTool.
That's a good idea, paradigm! Give us a check box so that when writing a hub, we, the authors, can indicate if it is seasonal or evergreen. That would solve (or should solve) the potential of having those hubs unpublished/ unfeatured for lack of traffic, and it would not impose that burden on the HP staff.
Three of my hubs went through the HubPro program. The editor picked my three most successful hubs and made changes.
Generally, I was pretty satisfied with what happened. My take on what was going on was that the editor was changing the hub to make it more traffic-friendly. The biggest changes had to do with making the hub more mobile friendly. I have since changed many of my other hubs to adapt to this reality.
Overall, traffic to those hubs has remained flat.
I'm not sure I agree that the editors should work with the Hubbers. There's not a strong cost-benefit to that. A good editor should be good enough to correct what needs to be corrected without fundamentally changing anything. If he or she isn't doing that, then that person isn't a good editor.
Being neither a programmer nor the owner of a 'smart phone,' tablet, or other mobile device, I have no clue what that difference might be, Sychophantastic.
If it is a matter of formatting when writing, then that should be addressed in the learning center (ugh--I can't believe I said that--it's already too hard to find stuff in there)! If it's not author formatting, then that is a programming issue, and up to staff.
Basically, a good editor should do what a good English teacher does...which is to highlight in red the areas that need correction and put initials such as (sp) in a circle beside them to indicate issues such as spelling errors, PP to show where there should be a paragraph division, etc. They might also write a comment or two in the margins. That's it!
The reasons teachers do this is to force students to find ways to make the corrections on their own, not make the corrections for them. This is how we learn, folks...and it is a tedious, lengthy process that HP should not be tackling, especially with so many second language speakers writing here.
This is not a criticism...it is just a fact.
Cardisa, thank you for your community leadership in posting these suggestions and starting this thread. The points you make in #s 2 and 3 are at the core of this issue, that there be communication between a hubber and editor. That sounds like Editing 101 to me, very basic. You underscore that principle in your first response to Paul when you say, "Editing should be a collaboration . . ." This is what was stated in the HubPro guidelines. Another very important reason to collaborate is so that the hubber and editor can have a professional relationship, where the editor gets to know and understand the writer's message, tone, and purpose for writing the article.
My head was spinning so fast I could barely take in the enormity of what happened to aneegma and what it means to writers as I read through her thread. But my head did slow down enough for me to reach for my mouse and click on 'opt-out' of HubPro.
This is all very sad. I remember when HubPro rolled out 6 months ago, there were many concerns. Some of those same concerns have eerily come to pass with aneegma, and reportedly with others. Whether we are talking about 3 hubbers with bad experiences or 50, this is still a very serious issue that has impacted trust. I truly hope Paul and HP Staff will make this right. Check out the first forum:
Interesting to hear the strategies behind the policies.
I've participated in the HubPro program, but it was over the last couple of months and the jury's still out as to whether it's going to improve things overall or not. Some metrics have improved, but that could be a temporary effect. Some have decidedly declined, but again, that could be temporary.
And while there are clear traffic changes for individual hubs, I haven't yet seen a major overall traffic or income effect to my individual account since the revisions went live.
My most active account is a substantial account that is kind of a hodgepodge of topics. I was an, um, "beneficiary" of one of the Panda iterations in the first year (we called ourselves "plungers," for reasons I suspect had more to do with feeling like we'd been flushed down the toilet than any kind of triumphant parachuting descent) and only ever recovered partially. The performance of each individual hub has ebbed and flowed with every Google update. There has been nothing consistent to pinpoint why certain hubs have crashed and why others were honored. It does not correspond to any single metric, including the evolving one of quality as measured by either objective or subjective criteria.
I think the HubPro program has the potential to help, and it might for a while. But we're all kind of running hither and yon trying to tame our wild guesses. None of us - neither HubPages staff nor the content creating community - has full control over the content itself, and decisions about what to do with it in any case are all dependent on double-guessing what Google is currently up to. Google is in possession of such a staggering amount of data that it's overwhelmed and will continue to be so for years; the company is running around pretty much as wildly as we are, trying to make sense of what good content is (otherwise known as trying to become artificially intelligent). So every decision we or HubPages folks make about our content is a great gamble.
Paul, if you can solve the scalability problem of the Internet, you've got a patent there.
Frankly, at this point I think the most realistic way to get the content you want is to have two equally sized sides to the site: content for which you pay authors flat out, and community-created, ad-share content. You can experiment to your heart's content with the former, and let us writers nurse our delicate sensibilities on the other, with the potential to transition content as metrics indicate. This could be more financially feasible than it has been for other pay-for-content sites because you're not a start-up - you're in possession of all the metrics and you have a large pool of writers, whose financial worth you know. It's also a way of investing simultaneously in both high- and low-risk property. FWIW...
Hi Fiction Teller, lovely to meet you!
It sounds like Paul needs an army and what better army do we have than all of the existing good hubbers! Hence my comments on playing with incentives.
Planning ahead is key to keeping the website doing well. We need to stay ahead of the curveball with Google. This involves quality content evolving and getting better over time. Spam will be more disliked in the future and articles with quality offerings, original and well written English content and reasonably good links will do better. Spam could literally bring sites down in the future. HP might need to be very harsh with it.
At present, Google is measuring engagement with the page as a main factor in ranking. I don't mean that it gets 100 Facebook likes, I mean the length of time people stay on the page to read it. I foretell that this measurement may become a major primary measurement in search rankings going forward because it does completely eliminate the spam element.
Hence both visually beautiful and wonderfully written hubs are going to do well going forward, as long as there's some good SEO in them.
SEO will make these hubs be found, so everyone should be doing it if they want to see earnings. A bit of social helps, but there's no need to go overboard. On page engagement is where it's at.
No amount of polls, tables and pictures will ever make up for bad writing. HP needs to seriously look at the English skills of the people on it and be discerning in the future.
As someone who has very rarely, if ever, been affected by the Pandas and Penguins, I can tell you it's lots of hard work and lots of fun! But the proof is in the pudding, my earnings have grown fairly steadily since I have been on here, with no major ups and downs except the normal algorithmic results of the amount of hubs and amount of time they have been live.
I'd be more than willing to devote that amount of time to my high-traffic hubs, if you think it will help.
I can understand the frustration of HP. The old adage: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink" comes to mind.
HP have done a great amount to encourage hubbers to follow certain practices (for the mutual benefit of both hubbers and HP). I respect the knowledge and experience of the HP staff, because the advice is almost always backed up by other sources, and I work to update hubs, as do many other hubbers. I personally have benefited hugely from HP advice over the years.
But the problem is what to do with the people who ignore or refuse to accept good advice?
I can understand that HP need to take some sort of direct action. Otherwise, everybody suffers.
Yes, we don't want to sink the Titanic with all the bad apples. Better off being a little growing boat with a bright future than the Titanic...
Maybe the acceptance of new writers process needs to set the bar higher? Don't just accept anyone, accept people with a good grasp of English, for example. From what I see, this is an English site for English writers. So why are people who are bad at English allowed to publish here? I'm not knocking other nationalities, as I really enjoy people from other cultures sharing their hubs here and they add a large wealth of experience to our pool. But bad English skills should not be acceptable. No other writing site of quality and calibre lets writers with bad English publish there and expects to survive. As far as I know, no other writing site is teaching people how to write English either. If I want to learn Italian, I go take a class, visit Italy and find out the hard way how to speak and write it. I don't go to Hubpages to be pandered to.
Remember half the world has yet to come online. When they do, are you going to let everyone have a go or be a site for English writers? Should there be a different Hubpages for each native language?
Interestingly, we have a number of people from other countries who write here whose skills are excellent...so the point is not just that second language speakers are all bad writers. There is a big difference, and HP has failed to recognize it. I am constantly pointing out poor language issues directly to authors who are second language speakers, and most of the time what I hear is that they don't care, because their hubs are making money. Quality and income are not necessarily the same things, and the income from people who "don't care" is fleeting. We do not need them here and we should not have them here because they are one of the reasons we are losing traction with Google.
TOTALLY! You and I are twins in this matter TimeTraveller
I have seen some absolutely amazing hubs written in outstanding English by people for whom English is a second language. We want to keep these people for sure! Just get rid of anyone whose English skills are not up to par...
A question for Paul..
You are seeing improvements through the hubs that have been edited what about those hubs that have been edited by the users of the site themselves?
I recently edited maybe 30 of my hubs to add content, correct writing issues, remove amazon and ebay capsules that were not 100% related etc.. I have seen an upswing in traffic since. Does editing by the users here have as good an effect as the editors have? How long term is the effect of editing - is it just a "fresh content" boost? Would the site see a better improvement if they had a system that encouraged users to make regular edits
On a side note the other result is that hub scores have dropped along with my hubber score!! Why does removing amazon and ebay capsules make the hub score drop several points?? It seems to me that whatever is driving these scores is significantly flawed as after making improvements and increasing traffic I am "punished" with lower scores.. (Not that I pay much attention to anything other than traffic and earnings!)
Having read all posts on this forum thread, I notice 2 things:
1. A missing apology by Paul for allowing unauthorized and incompetent editing. Was this a one-off mistake? Is it likely to happen again? Is Paul sorry it happened?
Having found no response to such questions, I promptly opted out to be on the safe side. And I support the idea of being out by default. Anyone who wants to edit my article should ask me first.
2. Paul's unconvincing arguments persisting in defending policies that obviously do not work. Time and again, people advise: Be more patient, allow time to tell what works and what didn't work. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Please leave high-traffic hubs well alone. Concentrate on what is really wrong with this site:
Over-promotional and sub-standard content.
Disallowed use of "hidden advertising" sneaked in between related hubs and obtrusive floating ads.
Keyword stuffing in summaries.
Plenty of work to do before even thinking about touching the good stuff!
Go to this new thread to see what HP really needs to do to improve traffic instead of messing with the best content on the site.
This IS the "again," or one of them, because this is not the first instance of someone getting their Hubs edited via HubPro without having any idea about the program and who did not give explicit permission.
Hi Sue, looked at your last link and the forum topic is gone? Would love to read it if you can find it again for me...
I deleted it. Feel free to start a new thread. It contained the two issues mentioned in my previous post, plus the fact that ads don't open on a new page, and floating ads. I'm not the best person to compile a list of "Things to be done by HP to increase traffic other than messing with the best content on the site."
WriterFox, Rachel, and others are much more qualified in that department.
Sorry, I deleted that thread as I didn't feel qualified to explain the issues that cause concern to SEO savies on the forums. Some of these were:
1. Close dead/abandoned accounts/subdomains.
2. Deal with keyword overstuffed summaries.
3. Make ads open on a new page.
4. Give us a means of adding alt-tags to images.
I believe this is an incredibly generous offering! Before I wrote here I read a lot and never wrote/ applied anything.
As a former Squidoo member, interest died out for me, so I came here with a few bits and bits my sister told me about and had.
It would be nice to see personal professional suggestions on a hubs. We all only have two eyeballs and one brain, no one is perfect!
Perfection comes with editing dozens of times. I have been spitting out Hubs on here trying to place fragments of writings.. I have not been able to use them all and have deleted a pile from my computer... really just musings; but bothers me as I know the content was not decent.
If I am on their hit list, I would be one of the happiest ladies in the world, I would be learning from the leaders... True leaders lead by example and they certainly are applying this.
Welcome! This site IS awesome and there are no others like it that I've found. But as with any site, anytime new things are introduced, things don't always go smoothly.
These new editors are not leaders. They were hired as editors, may or may not have been given training and have little or no hubs written on their profiles.
One editor in particular is in the forefront for liberties she took with a hubber's (Aneegma) article.
If you read through the forum that sparked the creation of this forum at http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128409 then you may understand better what all the hullabaloo is about.
What most of us are saying is that editing our hubs shouldn't mean changing the content, only cleaning up the grammar, spelling and possibly some layout issues.
This is super great...! I was spooked by the Forums the other day and today I am loving this site all over again! <3
I understand that they wish to optimize them for SEO as well from reading this; that helps us all with traffic. It does not seem to be an attack on the work.
When I did writing for other sites going through all of the little "bugs" until the article was perfected drove me insane... guidance on a couple of Hubs would be great! If there were exact lay out guidelines as demo's of how other Hubber's were succeeding that would also be a big help! Perhaps there are and I have not sifting to that corner of the inner world on here yet.
I have been lingering on here for days... (probably months now) before I had the courage to dive in.
The only way to get acclimated to the site is to dive in. Each category template comes with dozens of suggestions in the capsules (some with links) to guide the writer and help make choices to write stellar (evergreen) hubs.
The Learning Center (FAQ's) is probably the best place to start your diving. If there is anything you don't understand after reading them and trying out the various hub categories, the forums are the best place to post your questions.
There is always someone lurking who has been on this site for years and has tons of hubs to their credit. They are willing and able to answer questions and they do it gladly.
I have a suggestion for consideration.
I anticipate my suggestion will be howled down by many because it will frighten them, and it might not be workable ... but here it is anyway.
What about starting a completely new site and moving proven writers to it? Potentially all hubbers who have developed the necessary skills could be gathered in the one place where their shared expertise could have a real chance at meeting the needs of search engines - and attracting heaps of traffic.
This move would quickly and effectively eliminate many problems. To my way of thinking, the transition would be best achieved in stages.
STAGE ONE ... Gather good writers.
I'm guessing hp would have a significant number of writers in mind who they'd like to invite. There should also be a process for writers who believe they are worthy contenders but may have been overlooked. They get to apply and, after assessment of their work, are either accepted or told "not now, but if you edit your existing hubs you can apply again in 3 (or 6) months."
When applying again, the hubber would be required to complete a form indicating which of their hubs have been edited, details of increased traffic (if any) etc. (It may be that a hubber's hubs are brilliant but not yet successfully attracting traffic, in which case they are accepted.)
STAGE TWO ... Create content.
I suggest that hubs remain where they are in the early stages. The selected writers would create new content for the new site. (It may take a while for the search engines to begin acknowledging the new site and it doesn't make sense to lose income on existing hubs.)
In time, individual hubbers might choose to transfer some of their hubs to their new account on the new site ... and see what happens regarding traffic. Well-written hubs that are not performing well on hp could be moved without fuss or drama, and their performance monitored. (I suspect there are many, many hubs on hp that are hindered because other hubbers have written poorly about the exact same topic.)
I doubt there would be any advantage to moving hubs away from hp if they already have thousands of pins and fb followers etc. (So there's no need to fear that suddenly hp will have no content left.)
STAGE THREE .... Improve HubPages.
Suddenly HP is offering REAL rewards for hubbers who make real efforts to improve their writing. Become a better hubber and you get a chance to join the big guns.
As the new site improves its status with search engines, hubbers will strive to meet the more stringent entry requirements. Why? Because potentially they can have access to much better earnings. (Surely that's a greater incentive than another accolade!)
STAGE FOUR ... Give more power and responsibility to the new team of writers.
I'm calling this Stage 4 but it should probably be called Stage 1A because it should be implemented at the time the new site is set up with a core group of experienced hubbers. Here's how I believe it should work.
- New members can only join 'by invitation'. (Yes, all hubbers can apply to join ... but will only be 'invited' after their hubs are assessed.)
- Hubs of potential new members are assessed by existing members of the new site.
- Members are able to suggest any hubbers they identify as appropriate for invitation.
- All hubbers being considered for joining are listed on a closed/private forum for feedback from members. There could be a Yes/No vote attached to that - with an expectation that reasons will be given for the vote.
- Worth mentioning, I believe the forum on the new site should not be able to be accessed by the public. It should remain private so that strategies, suggestions, assessments etc are only seen by members. (That doesn't mean members can be rude though. No disrespect should ever be shown to hubbers, irrespective of the quality of their writing!)
- Also worth mentioning, any member who breaks the Respect and Privacy terms in the new TOS should be banished immediately. (With or without a vote from other members - depending on how the core group of members decide to set it up, I guess.)
- Members of the new site would be expected to be 'active members' of a 'team'. So, for instance, if one member spots a typo or a problem in another member's work they should point it out in the private forum. Similarly, if a typo is reported in that private forum, the problem should be promptly corrected.
- I would envisage that members might be expected to nominate at least one hubber per month who they propose to help improve their hubs (by making suggestions via email) with a view to them potentially being invited to join the new site.
- I also envisage that the split between management and writers be more generous to writers. Why? Because writers would be attracting more traffic to the site (making more money for management) PLUS actively helping to improve HP as part of the TOS. (Think of the money you could save on editors, Paul.) It is feasible that the $ split could slide depending on the level of active assistance given to other hubbers ... reverting to the existing 60/40 if a member on the new site fails to be pro-active with developing the skills of hubbers.
Okay, I could write a lot more here ... but for now I leave my suggestion open for discussion.
P.S. If this option was to be seriously considered, I sincerely hope the core group would be very carefully chosen ... not just comprised of familiar faces. I have a few ideas for criteria in selecting the first participants, and that's something that would deserve careful consideration.
I like your ideas, however I'd have some concerns with them. The first is the lack of link juice that would occur from moving URLs again (eg punishment for the good hubbers). Secondly, HP already has its branding and its name out there and has already established itself. Cleaning up HP is an easier, less painful option than creating another elite site.
Editor's Choice was supposed to be an elite sort of site.
I do feel incentives help people stay here and publish more. They will also help improve quality. One big hurting stick is what is needed to get rid of the rubbish.
If Paul needs help finding the rubbish, maybe existing hubbers could be incentivised to report it more to a team of staff dedicated to cleaning up the site?
There are excellent reasons why it would be a bad idea to start a completely new site.
First - it's true that Google likes freshness - but it also respects AGE. Why do you think people pay big money for long-established domain names? A new site would be just that - brand new and green.
Second - Google also likes size, the bigger the better. The new site would be small at first, and could take years to get to a reasonable size. So it would be at a big disadvantage compared to HubPages.
Third - it would mean doing 301 redirects AGAIN, from HubPages to the new site.
Fourth - the new site would have very little traffic at first, meaning it's unlikely that HubPages advertisers would pay anything like the same rates to advertise on it - if they will agree at all.
There may be others...
Marisa - I actually suggest that exact thing (new site) three years ago & was told that wasn't going to happen. But I was also told the idea of a QAP wouldn't happen either.
lol. Perhaps you were just ahead of your time, Marcy. Everyone's taking a while to catch up with your way of thinking.
Now if we can just catch the interest of paradigmsearch (who loves starting new sites) and Writer Fox (who seems to enjoy SEO) and a few other experienced writers (with or without formal qualifications) who can write well enough to feature on Page One of google and other search engines, you and I could start a new site.
Then when it has time to age, grow and attract lots of traffic, we could sell it to HP !!
No 301s would be required because we'd just become greatly inspired, extremely prolific and wonderfully successful creating fresh, new content. Our existing hubs could easily remain here at HP .
Clearly we need an accountant to come on board. Someone has to keep track of splitting the earnings. Of course I thought it would be easier to just tap into HP's existing infrastructure to undertake such a task ... but I could be wrong.
I'd love to join in with such a collective venture and keep the bar high for all time, along with the commission payments! And yes, I'm able to get to the front page more often than not.
If I ever joined such a site I would never condone selling it. Ever. It would make a mint due to its high standards, wonderful content and supportive structure.
Maybe this brilliantine site might have a dustbin site where all the old and failed experimental articles could go to die. That is the site I would onsell.
Actually I'm quite surprised HP isn't creating their own dustbin site to onsell to the next unsuspecting buyer...it seems to be the trend these days...
As a reward for your brilliant dustbin site proposal (and your ability to reach the front page), you are officially invited to join my currently hypothetical site, Suzanne!
That's two Australians. With a few from the Northern Hemisphere we'll be able to publish fresh content around the clock.
First they came for the ESL's. I was fine with that.
Then they came for the non high school grads. I was fine with that.
Then they came for the non trade school grads. I was fine with that.
Then they came for the non junior college grads. I was fine with that.
Then they came for me.
I was wondering what happened to your avatar photo. I guess that explains it.
That was just a philosophical post. The way things were headed, I knew it was only a matter of time before someone suggested only college graduates should be allowed to write here.
I suggest that only people with good English skills write here. Qualifications may or may not mean that. Some people I know who have a degree can't spell and others who finished school in Year 8 are pretty good.
You were really fast with that correction! I was wondering what a 'gegree' was.
Since this site is a community of writers, helping should be the most important thing on the mind of every writer, to make this site a unity hub. As a newbie, I really need help to enhance my skills. Those at the top should look at the bottom, to neutralize and to balance the site's condition. Competition must be the last thing in mind of those who have been recognized as an expert writers. A skillful writer, should not only have a mind but also have a heart.
That is a beautiful thought. There are many helpful writers here.
True. Skillful writers really enjoy helping people like yourself, who have an excellent grasp of the English language. But for all those forum posts wanting help when the "author" can't string together a sentence correctly, people like me just cannot be bothered.....we've seen thousands of them....and I'm here to write and have fun writing with others, not teach people English.
Also, good writing creates an appetite for more of it and none of us can feed all those readers all alone.
I worked as an editor for Helium for over 5 years taking care of all the dog-related content there. As editors, we were only authorized to fix grammar, spelling, punctuation and, in some cases, sentence structure. In no way could we could change choice of words or voice turning it from first person to second or third. We could make recommendations though. Articles written in first person were not much appreciated there unless you could prove you were an authority on the the subject. We also had to contact writers and make them aware of the changes made and provide tips on how to improve their skills. Other than editing, we were also in charge of fact-checking, making sure that statements made were reliable and possibly backed up by reference links pointing to authority sources. Sadly, despite all that hard work, the Helium website is no longer active.
I recently opted out of the HubPro program because I've seen its results.
I have had many pieces edited by professionals. I have had my work featured in magazines, textbooks, and ezines. Professional editors tweaked each and every one. Some of my clients also have my work professionally edited. I read avidly, as do most writers on HubPages. I know what professional level editing looks like. HubPro editing does not look similar.
I'll start with the illustration element of HubPro. Please, go and look at the illustrations. They look like bad clip art, 1950s to 1970s elementary school textbook illustrations, or like low-budget employee handbook illustrations from the eighties. If you read newspapers or magazines online you'll see they don't use such illustrations. If you read popular websites you'll see they also don't use that style of illustration except occasionally on humor or satire that is poking fun at them.
Readers will not know you paid a professional rate to an artist to create those illustrations. They will think the author or the publisher just couldn't be bothered to find good illustrations. It's better to have no illustrations than terrible illustrations.
The worst edited hub I read had a very inconsistent first person voice with parts of the text disagreeing with other content on the same page. It was poorly organized and the additional text added made the title inappropriate. It frankly read as if it were a spun article.
I know what spun articles read like because I, like many hubbers, have been the victim of many plagiarists, including those who spin rather than just cut and paste.
The editor also added fabricated personal experience.
If you really want to stop HP from going down the drain, tackle the people waging negative SEO attacks on this site. Please pay attention to this. It's enormous and you seem unable to see it.
Enter my username and the word HubPages into Google search. Please, just look at the results. Look how many thousands come up that are not me and not HubPages. Try the same with Gruldak and Hubpages and you'll see something equally disturbing. I suggest you look using my username because it's a name I made up and almost nothing but my work and conversations or articles mentioning me showed up under it until my Squidoo lenses were moved to HubPages. I suggest Gruldak because, again, it's a word I made up and, until the transfer to HP all but a sparse handful of references to Gruldak were references to my serialized novel. There are thousands of websites with my HubPages subdomain on them and I only have about 150 hubs!
HubPages has been associated with these hundreds of thousands of spam/unsafe websites whether you like it or not.
I think another vital factor in maintaining any level of confidence in this editing procedure would be the possibility for the hubber to choose the editor, or at the very least to reject specific editors. There appears to be a wide range of experience.
I will repeat yet again that the absence of editors with medical/scientific/technical qualifications and experience is very disappointing.
A further issue that came to mind is that currently all editors are based in the USA. Those of us who live elsewhere (UK in my case) would be at a huge risk of having our voice totally destroyed were someone to come in and impose US slang and street talk on our hubs. To be honest, I would not wish UK slang and street talk to be imposed on my hubs either! A lot of the time I target my writing at the educated layman (more or less graduate level of intellect) not at the uneducated masses. Yes, I know that impacts on potential earnings, but I have to be true to my own principles and inclinations!
Why aren't the editors best performing hubs showcased somewhere so we can see the quality of their writing?
I don't know if it has occurred to anyone else but might it not be a good idea to see if each editor is capable of creating high traffic hubs before setting him or her loose on existing high traffic hubs?
Yes. This has been commented on in this forum and in the original one that was the catalyst for creating this forum.
This is the post by Aneegma explaining what happened to her and there are links to the before and after hubs. Aneegma's forum prompted Cardisa to create this forum and you'll see variations of your comment here:
This forum was created by Marcy because several hubbers raised the question of copyright violation (myself included), so you'll see comments like that and yours here:
Thank you for linking as it helps everyone get up to speed on what's happening. I'm aware of the origins of the conversation; I was going through a serious family issue which distracted me and I was merely scanning the multiple large threads. I surely missed the suggestion that editors should prove their ability to create high-traffic hubs.
It just seems so obvious that I'm surprised it wasn't part of the employment application. When I apply for freelance gigs, I frequently must provide samples of my writing and allow my potential employer to take a peek at my online work. Even when I was a florist, I had to prove my ability to arrange flowers during the interview process despite my list of awards, accomplishments, and letters of recommendation from extremely satisfied wealthy people.
I know what professional editors can do for my writing and I wish I could afford to hire an editor frequently. I'd trade my eyeteeth to hire the woman who edited an article of mine for Aquarium Fish Magazine but she's out of my price range and she's not accepting body parts for payment.
lol @ body parts.
Whenever you get long threads (with many comments) it is very easy to miss some of the suggestions. Often the reply to replies are comments that have the words "2 replies" written under them which means you have to click on those two words to see the extra comments. I don't know why they do that but that's how I missed some of the comments when I was a newbie and scrolling through the comments.
@Editors - The title of Editor is a loosely used title here. We would probably fare better having an experienced hubber (well-versed in language, grammar and HP protocols which can be seen by their hubs) to help rather than having one of the newbie editors in HubPro program. Just my opinion.
I find that it is easier to view a forum thread in the chronological mode. Just click on that option at the top and see if you like that better:
Thank you. I've been bouncing all over the place trying to read through threads without missing new replies.
(The threaded view is known to induce mental illness.)
I have not been here long, but I have privately edited quite a few articles and some books for other people. They were all simply labors of love, done without pay. The individuals were grateful, and the content was considered greatly improved.
I hesitate to offer an option, as a newcomer to HP, but I would like to echo the opinions expressed about using Hubbers who have stellar writing skills, to help improve HP.
There are some exceptional writers here, with a great deal of experience. It would seem logical and practical, to have them selected as the HubPro editors. They already devote a lot of their time, unselfishly helping other Hubbers, and have excellent suggestions. They are not paid to do that, but simply do it to help.
Would it not make more sense to use these existing unsung heroes who have excellent writing skills, who already know how to capture an audience's attention, and who are seasoned? That idea sounds logical to me - nothing else makes any sense.
My first reaction when I heard that there was a new team of editors was: why didn't they hire from within? Hubbers would have been the best people for this job, as you said.
Now, looking back on it, I can see why they didn't do that:
- Most Hubbers already have busy lives / jobs and are not looking for full time employment.
- Even if they did, the jobs are available in San Francisco. Most would not want to move. Telecommuting would not be an option because the Hubber would need to be come to the site and be a part of the culture.
These two are minor, because you don't know if you ask, and they likely would have been able to find the people they needed but they would also have to 1. know how to write, 2. know how to be gentle but firm in communicating with the people they were helping. But I could think of other reasons too.
- Hubbers are needed to keep writing new hubs.
- Editors would have to follow all the rules as they came up. (i.e. if they were told that full image capsules were necessary, that is how they would edit things; if they were told to get new images from xyz, that is where they would get them).
- Editors are at a different level than the Hubbers. They need to be respected and their edits need to be taken seriously. Some people may have trouble accepting help from others who they believe are their peers.
- Editors have to deal with the wrath of the Hubbers. Imagine how much worse the already-bad situation would be if the editor in question had also been a Hubber.
- Editors are privileged to hear about new developments and new rules that are coming. They may even find out the secret of the hub scores! They need to be able to keep all of that confidential, which would be difficult if they had a group of Hubber friends.
And most importantly, the people are already hired. They would have to be fired to change the plan, and it is only fair to give them a chance.
Oh and also, if a Hubber became an Editor and needed to be let go, that would raise a whole new set of issues.
All of the above are valid points, MT, but expert Hubbers would make expert Hub Editors.
- They might enjoy the extra income, especially if they were hit by the latest Panda that hit.
- Their skills would already be recognized.
- They could work from their homes.
- They could help the new editors.
Surely, they would be selected from those who have consistently given kind, constructive, unbiased advice here on the forums.
As to being "let go", well, it could raise a whole new set of issues, however - there are quite a few excellent Hubbers who have been here a long time. I would not anticipate that they would need to be dismissed.
Again, I am rather new, so take my input as just my opinion. That's really all it is, and I defer to those of you who have a great deal more experience than I do.
Paul (I hope you read this):
As I've mentioned, I agree with WF and others who suggest focusing on SEO for well-written but poor-performing hubs. You probably already have a feel for which accounts might be in that category. Related to that - here are some other requests:
1) In particular, consider offering SEO help for the Hubs of Apprenticeship Alums - we were assigned titles in our first month (some were good, some were not), and because things were so busy, we didn't get a lot of hands-on SEO guidance. You already know there are very good writers in that group - so there should be very little (if any) need to rewrite or edit those hubs. Some Alums have had better success than others in getting good traffic.
2) PLEASE help out those of us who wrote hubs using the blasted "Exclusives" titles back then. We all know that program was a major fail, but we were literally told the titles were vetted, had great potential and were not among the existing hubs on the site. None of this was true, but many of us spent quite a bit of time producing hubs, in good faith, based on that selling point. Also - for a long while, we were not allowed to mess with the titles (even though we began realizing some titles were greatly flawed). I'd be more than willing to have my "Exclusives" content tweaked for SEO. Perhaps the actual urls can be changed in some cases?
Thanks for listening -
SEO has become a dirty word on hubpages and it's been that way for several years now, so I doubt Paul will be up for these suggestions regardless of how sensible they are.
Ah, the old days of SEO. I remember them well:
An SEO copywriter walks into a bar, grill, pub, public house, Irish, bartender, drinks, beer, wine, liquor...
How many SEO copywriters does it take to change a lightbulb, light bulb, light, bulb, lamp, bulbs, flowers, flour...?
That was cynical. I apologize, SEOs. apologies, apology, sorry, best apology, cheap apology, horny apology
Haha, a horny apology with dirty words makes you say sorry in a way that is very naughty and begs forgiveness from the Lord because it's a sin. Throw your knickers away in shame because you have s*x addiction and need a 5000 word tutorial with instructions on how to be apologetic when you feel frisky in the red light district but you are filled with remorse.
Sorry, couldn't resist!
I was only comparing the HP algorithm for computing a Hub Score to Google's algorithm for ranking on search results, and the HP NPS Score to social media shares.
I have seen it mentioned elsewhere that HP may be preparing to sell the site, and that is a possible explanation for the Hub Pro professional editors. Since it always would appear to be best to improve the worst first (There is more scope for larger improvement) based on simple Math, this post got me wondering.
Since I have no wish to repeat the Squidoo experience I would be interested in Paul's comments in regard to this rumor.
Yahoo (YCN) had their writing academy, though I don't think it was mandatory. It did help many writers that took the courses. If I remember correctly, they covered among other things grammar and writing styles, SEO and writing for the internet and their writing platform.
I have forgotten, how do we opt out of the editors program?
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