I received an email that a new Hub is "eligible" for a niche site. But it suggests I need to proofread it before it can move over.
I edited the article for readability and ran it through a spelling and grammar checker before I published it. After receiving the email, I reread it and ran it through two more checkers (including the HubPages one) without spotting any problems except for changing "different than" to "different from". I assume that by itself is not sufficient reason to reject it.
Now I have to wait 60 days before I can submit it for reconsideration. Does anyone have a suggestion about what I and the grammar checkers have missed?
http://hubpages.com/travel/Best-Time-to … ane-Season
For the record, the HubScore is 86. I am a bit baffled why an article can get a high HubScore for its quality but get rejected for a niche site.
Because HubScore and HubberScore are both absolute nonsense!
Just go and look at how they are worked out - any scoring system where HubScore includes an element of HubberScore and HubberScore is based on elements of HubScore is bound to be screwed up.
Are they nonsense or based on algorithms we don't quite understand? If they really are nonsense, then I certainly don't understand why they still exist.
I wish HubPages Search worked better! If it did, I'd look for a marvellous conversation that happened a few years ago between Hubbers and two HubPages staffers (they were probably the best and most knowledgeable people who ever worked here, they no longer work here).
In that conversation, the staffers admitted that HubScores, and particularly HubberScores, were deeply flawed and that they had regular discussions about them at their staff meetings. There was no question that the system needed fixing, but there was always something else that had a higher priority and therefore it never got fixed.
Naturally, we all said, "why don't you just get rid of them then?" and the answer was that they were reluctant to get rid of them until they had something to replace it with - and in the meantime, their best advice was to ignore them.
Then the founder of HubPages joined the conversation to say he thought the scoring system was a wonderful thing. We've never had a staffer say anything negative about scores again, and we've made no progress since. Draw your own conclusions!
This is it. Derek's response is particularly illuminating:
http://hubpages.com/community/forum/107 … ost2294370
I see you are quite an advocate for getting rid of them. HP is a content site that has survived when so many others have failed. So I have faith in the owners' abilities and reasons for having the scores.
I am willing to bet that some of the algorithms are known only to them and not to anyone else on the staff (or only a trusted few). If I were them, I would keep some of the factors secret too.
If you are right, and the scores are useless, then we can only keep pressing HP to fix them or get rid of them to avoid the ongoing confusion and frustrations.
If the scores have more benefit than we understand, I hope the owners will either fix what might be wrong with them, do more communicating about their purpose or align the editorial standards of the main site and the niche sites.
Like I said on my other post tis evening, it's extremely frustrating to have a Hub with a score of 95 rejected for a niche site because of quality issues. Imagine how many new writers will be even more confused and frustrated.
You misunderstand. If you read those posts, then you'll see that Derek was directly involved in designing the scores so there are no "secrets" he was unaware of! Simone was also one of the most senior staff members at the time.
The message is, ignore the scores.
The owner likes them and thinks they accurately reflect quality. However, it's clear they don't.
I've had the experience of having a hubscore drop by over twenty points after I fixed a few typos and improved the grammar of a hub on more than one occasion. It's not a unique experience or a bug with my account. If hubscore reflected quality, fixing errors wouldn't make it plummet.
Hubscores are NOT like school grades, so don't drive yourself mad about the fact that your worst hub may get ranked the best or that your best hubs may get lousy scores.
I see hubscore as a psychological ploy to get people to think there's something wrong with their hubs, so they'll keep updating them to chase the hubscores. After all, schools prepared us to react a certain way to what looks like a bunch of terrible grades. It probably seems like an OK thing to do to achieve the goal of more updates to hubs, but meaningless feedback is actually worse than no feedback at all.
I don't think HubPages understands how inaccurate feedback discourages users, and I believe it's most likely to affect the ones they want to keep. People who cared about their grades in school are probably the most likely to just leave if, no matter how they work at "fixing" their hubs, they still can't get consistently acceptable hubscores in the 90s.
There seems to be a disconnect at the top, a slight absence of the realization that hubbers are real people who need the same sorts of frameworks to work inside that all humans need. As a result, they don't seem to see how applying standard business productivity practices like clear rules, good communication, and accurate feedback can help their business.
I will say that my scores are pretty consistent and that I understand some factors that influence them. So I have at least some faith in the system.
That's why I get frustrated when a Hub with a score of 95 gets rejected by a niche site for quality.
I especially agree with your point about the impact on discouraging people.
I have spoken with the Editor who worked on your Hubs. Many single sentences broken out into individual paragraphs is a formatting/redability issue. She made the change herself in several of your previous Hubs and had hoped you would be willing to correct them for her going forward.
Christy, thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, I believe she is referring to my Aruba attractions article with a score of 95. She wanted me to take the first five paragraphs and combine them into one. There was no such feedback on the above article.
Google uses readability tests as a ranking factor. Readability scores favor one and two sentence paragraphs. That's why I use them.
So I am left between a rock and a hard place: Google ranking factors or an HP editor's unknowable style preference?
It is impractical for me to review changes to an article and guess that an editor has a strong preference for long paragraphs. Again, I am now left with waiting for two months to submit an article to a niche site just because of paragraph length.
If the editors want that level of control, they need to publish a style guide and take out all of this guesswork on our part.
May I know why my hubs are rejected?
I took a quick look and one problem I see is your title. Since you are talking about the best and worst times to visit the Bahamas, your title should be something like "When Is the Best Time to Visit the Bahamas"...and then stick to the statements that describe the best times. Leave "the worst times" out and drop the wordage in the title about "Hurricane Season".
Also, and this is just me, when I see an article like this what I see is information that is common to find all over the web. The wording may be mostly yours, but the info is really not original.
Perhaps you'd do better to write an article about a vacation that YOU took to the Bahamas and include in it that what made it so good was the time of year when you went, etc. Just a thought.
Other than that, it looked good. Just needs a bit more focus.
TimeTraveler, those are thoughtful insights. I have done a series of articles on the "best times to go" and "best and worst times to go" for HP and my own site.
I added "worst times" to a few of them to see if it entices more people to read it. It seems to attract more visitors who don't want to go to the Caribbean during bad weather seasons.
The hurricane season reference gets high search engine rankings. That term works very well with SEO because people search on it. Search in Google for "jamaica hurricane season". The article (Jamaica Hurricane Season - Best and Worst Times to Go) is getting 12,000 views a month. Others with the same "best and worst times" get even more views.
You are right about the unoriginal topic. It turns out that SEO research I put into the topic paid off. The series is doing very well with search engines.
You also are right about the originality of an article about my own experiences. Oddly enough, when I write those articles, they don't do well.,
I do this for a living and have to be strict about what works and what doesn't, even when some of the articles are dry or unoriginal.
Point taken. However, if "hurricane season" travel info does well, why not focus your travel articles on that subject specifically. Then "best and worst" kind of fall into place. It seemed kind of an after thought for this article.
It's interesting that discussing your own experiences doesn't do well. I'll remember that when writing my RV travel articles...although some people have specifically asked me to write about my experiences!!
"Hurricane season" and "best time to go" are both highly active search terms. By using both in the headline and body, the article attracts searches on either term.
In fact, I think it was an HP editor who first added "hurricane season" to one of my article headlines after I wrote about them in the body of the article.
The problem with getting views for personal experience articles is the keyword phrase that describes the subject. If I wrote about my "Aruba vacation", the term has so much competition from major national travel sites that the article would get buried.
I think personal experience is very valuable BUT it's all in how you present it.
If Promisem just wrote an article about his Aruba vacation, no one would be interested. However if he wrote a helpful article about vacationing in Aruba (e.g. best times to go, worst times to go) and injected his own experiences into the Hub to illustrate that, it would be likely to do very well. I would have more confidence in someone who was clearly writing from his own experience than someone who's just written a dry factual article.
I am not interested in RV's so I haven't read many of your Hubs, but I'm guessing your Hubs would be like that - factual and helpful but you do relate your own experiences of the subject when they're relevant, and that's what makes them engaging.
I couldn't find any typos.
I did find a redundancy "annual Caribbean hurricane season from June 1 to Nov. 30 every year." Annual and every year.
I don't see where your spelling or grammar would be an issue. Could the issue be something else?
I wondered the same thing, but I just can't see it.
I had the same message, and finally wrote to Team@hubpages.com. They wanted me to insert a colon instead of a comma in a title. Sometimes it's something really obscure, I thought the comma was fine. So I fixed it for them, and it took me weeks to get it moved to a niche site, because it was held up by that.
People need to start being realistic about the stuff they write. We all make mistakes.
In another thread, Tess says her page did not need proofreading but it turns out that there were at least half a dozen typos. One error 'massive' for 'missive' would have rendered the first paragraph incomprehensible. That is a page-killing kind of error.
If you read one of Promisem's pages about hurricane seasons, there is a lot of entirely literal, verbal description of the graphical data that he presents. The description adds nothing for the reader and is pretty much incomprehensible.
I understand why he does this. He wants words on the page, even though the graphs say it all. Perhaps he could add some descriptions of actual hurricanes that have hit a region, or something that is at least readable.
Kylyssa is resentful that she is expected to exercise judgement in regard to repetition, but that is something any writer needs to do.
We should all be trying to improve, not kicking back when useful criticism is offered.
Frankly, it is good to see HP toughening up on this stuff, for all our sakes. Perhaps they are getting serious about saving hubpages.com.
Will, that one article gets more than 20,000 visits a month and is ranked #1 or #2 in Google for multiple keywords. And it was good enough for a niche site.
Yes, the text breakdown by month extracts information from the graphics. But you can't get Google rankings with just graphics. People specifically go to the parts of the article that they want to read, i.e., "Caribbean weather in March". That's search engine optimization.
While I'm at it, saying that two-sentence paragraphs about temperatures and rainfall are "incomprehensible" is a bit harsh. I don't believe you understand the purpose of what I did and why it generates a lot of audience and revenue for both Hubpages and me.
I understand that you want words on the page for the sake of the search engines but take pity on the poor visitors, lol. Give them something interesting to read.
There is plenty to be said about hurricanes in the Caribbean.
Talk about the possible impacts of global warning (more frequent, more violent, recently perhaps). Describe shocking disasters. Find a pic of a boat in a tree. People love that kind of thing.
In modern parlance this is called 'adding value'.
I'm sorry, but your suggestions have nothing to do with my audience.
They want to read about Caribbean weather this week, this month and this year. They want to know the breakdown of each month so they know which months to go and which ones to avoid.
They do searches on the "words on the page" because they want to read those words. The analytics and search engine rankings prove it.
They are vacation planners who want weather tips and not scientific material about global warming.
That's why these articles draw strong visitor totals.
Most people looking for the data that you are offering are actually wondering 'when should I visit' or 'should I visit at all' rather than having an academic interest in hurricane stats.
If I was a potential visitor, I would want to know what getting caught up in a hurricane meant in that part of the world. A day, week, fortnight stuck in a hotel room? No flights out for a month because the airport is wrecked? The entire family buried under the rubble of poorly built structures with no hope of rescue?
I would also want to know which parts of a region/island were more sheltered and had suffered less damage in previous hurricanes.
All of these things would help me make a decision.
Also, I would want at least one pic of a boat in a tree. Ideally, the boat should be a man o'war with pirate crew extant.
If most people are looking for what you say, why are my articles performing so well?
I guess that is a matter of opinion. You should not be saying "my articles are performing well" but "how can they perform better?".
I do not know if you have a poor personal relationship with Will Apse. Personally, I appreciate any criticism of my articles, and do not argue that I do not need it because I will probably get my 10M accolade next year.
I need it. We all need it.
Congrats on a goal of 10M next year. It sounds like you and I have a similar average number of page views per Hub. I just need to write 250 more Hubs to get to my 10M.
That said, I think you misunderstand me on several points:
1. My original post clearly is seeking constructive criticism. The "performing so well" comment was in response to Will's unusable lecture about what I am doing wrong. Regardless, if I can learn how to do better than #1 in Google for critical keywords, I'm all ears.
2. I am happy to receive constructive criticism. But constructive criticism usually doesn't include words such as LOL, incomprehensible and take pity on the poor readers to describe someone's writing. It also doesn't involve personal attacks against Kylyssa. In contrast, PsycheSkinner provides a great example of constructive criticism.
3. Nowhere do I say that I don't need more audience. What I don't need is someone spewing contempt about an article just because it isn't written the way he wants to read it. Again, otherwise, I'm all ears.
For the record, I don't recall any past conflicts with Will. But he seems to have grievances with Kylyssa and me.
I have no grievance with either you or Kylyssa.
You have a problem with the criticism offered by an editor even though the criticism happens to be accurate. Same thing with Tess.
Kylyssa has had problems with repetition and blames HP for not helping, rather than taking onboard that she needs to fix the problem herself.
Any criticism can be painful but if editors take the time and trouble to give writers individual feedback, I reckon writers should find a way to look at it calmly.
#2 in my reply above shows that I only have a problem with the opposite of constructive criticism. My answer to PsycheSkinner below also is my answer.
You seem to have a problem understanding that my articles use SEO to get to high rankings in search engines. I am not writing for you personally. I am writing for the broadest possible audience.
If that means 20,000 visitors a month get the information they need, and you don't like my article, I will write for the 20,000 and not you.
No, I can't fix HubPages problem with vagueness myself; I offered to rewrite parts of their FAQ to reflect their rules more accurately (for free) over a year ago and they didn't even respond to the emails. This whole thread would not exist if the rules weren't vague and hubscore actually reflected quality.
I take responsibility for meeting the submission guidelines for every publisher I write for and HubPages is the only one that doesn't take responsibility for providing concrete guidelines. I've gladly met the submission guidelines of every book, magazine, and webpage where my work has been published for the last twenty-five years. I've happily followed every editor recommendation I've had the privilege of getting because they've always improved my work.
HubPages' advice on keywords is basically to just do what feels right. It's like a medicine label saying, "Take as many or as few pills as you feel like. Overdose may occur, but you'll be fine so long as you just take whatever sounds good to the average person and not one more." It's so vague it isn't even really saying anything useful.
Even you thought the lack of detailed copyright information about HubPro edited hubs was unusual! As a writer, you have to have seen how editing usually works, including the legal documents involved. I've worked with rural newspapers and street papers that had more detailed writer's guidelines and proper legal paperwork.
As to the hubscores, why is it that you believe any objection to their accuracy must come from a personality flaw when a high hubscore doesn't indicate a hub of high enough quality to be moved? Why shouldn't the hubscore algorithm reflect the vertical sites' needs and submission guidelines? The OP seemed to initially think hubscore meant something and it doesn't really mean anything that is relevant today. Yes, his hub needs work, but his hubscore shouldn't be good if it does!
I agree with you regarding the proofreading. I even agree that the OP's hub needs work. I just think the hubscore should reflect the quality of hubs in some way so people aren't surprised to find out their hub isn't quite up to snuff even though it has a decent score.
The original poster is a person, Will, and he asked for help. If you decide to help someone, you have a responsibility to do so with kindness rather than using it as an opening to get in some rude remarks. If a stupid person like me can teach developmentally disabled adults without ever bashing their deficiencies, a smart person like you should be able to help an above-average person like Promisem without treating him like he's an idiot. Real offers of help don't include insults or digs.
People already know you are smart without you "proving" you are by treating others like they are stupid or hysterical.
Why not explain why you think it's irrational for me to expect hubscores to provide accurate feedback instead of making a personal attack? How is your attempt to devalue my opinion by painting me as resentful about a completely different topic actually adding to the conversation?
The scoring feature does not function as it should by the admission of HubPages staff. A 95 hubscore doesn't mean a hub is good enough to move to a niche site, but it should. If it doesn't, the scoring system has no real value anymore.
I'm not resentful; I think it discourages people and that there are better ways to get people to keep making edits. People trained to respond to bad grades will respond to it for a time, but anyone used to making top marks in school is likely to get discouraged if improving hubs may actually drop their hubscores. I nearly left HubPages over hubscores early on until someone here told me they are fairly meaningless unless they are are abysmally low. I get that you probably figure weeding out people like me would be great for HubPages, but you have to realize it's throwing out the baby with the bathwater to do it by providing inaccurate and discouraging feedback that does not relate to the guidelines for niche site inclusion.
What do you get out of pointing out people's flaws in unrelated discussions, anyway?
P.S. I don't resent that HubPages has set a percentage at which they consider topic-related word use excessive; I am irritated that, unlike other publishers, they refuse to define it with facts. I will comply with whatever percentage of keywords HubPages wants if they ever publish what it is. I've stripped hubs of what I guessed they might consider excessive keywords only to have HubPages editors add some back in. It's a huge waste of time to strip out keywords if there's no way of knowing if you've done it to the publisher's standards. HubPages submission guidelines are vague and hazy compared to virtually every other publisher I've ever interacted with. It's not being precious to expect them to meet industry standards.
I didn't see a lot of errors but I think even one or two can get a warning now.
A purist is going to ding the many sentences you start with a coordinating conjunction and/or that are not complete sentences. e.g. "But it is the second most popular month to visit Nassau."
One sentence fragment starting with but is a stylistic choice. But seven might be a few too many. (Irony intended).
I hope the editors are not deterred from offering individual feedback to writers, uphill struggle or not.
Even if people go into paroxysms of hurt and outrage and do all the chest beating, 'I am wonderful enough already' stuff, they will eventually get to other side of that, and realize just how valuable outside advice can be.
Also, of course, if they can only take onboard what is offered, they will get their pages featured, moved to niches etc.
I don't submit articles for niche sites, but I do get those e-mails that say they are eligible for a niche site if I proofread my article.
Like “promisem”, I have had several occasions where I could not find grammar or spelling errors.
I often use the HubPages text editing feature “Toggle Spell Checker”. That feature lets you know when a spelling error is found by highlighting the suspect word. It also will report back “No Spelling Errors Found”. This feature often fails to report “No Spelling Errors Found”, while at the same time failing to highlight words that have been misspelled. In those cases, you can try using a more sophisticated spelling and grammar checker, such as Word. Often, in those cases, the external editor will indicate the problem. Sometimes it will not. In those cases, I will simply close the editing session, and allow the article to remain unfeatured.
I have that luxury because I am not on HubPages to earn money, but rather to learn more about how to write. In the past, and outside HubPages, anything I have submitted for any sort of publication goes through an editing process. That process usually results in constructive feedback that offers specific advice on how to improve the write-up. Here on HubPages, we have a variety of feedbacks that are provided by the editing team, most of them useful.
Occasionally though, we get the message “Please proofread your article”, and even rarer, after going through that process, we find nothing to fix. Either way, feedback that fails to offer specific advice invites failure, since the writer has to guess what the editor is objecting to. When they fail to synchronize with what the editor sees, and fix something else instead, their article is removed from “feature” for sixty days. It is a basic failure to communicate effectively.
For those who ARE seeking to earn money from their writing, I can fully understand why they would leave the site, since the result of the failure to communicate comes across more as censorship than as constructive and mutually beneficial help.
Good luck with your efforts to proofread your article. Whatever problem you see may not be your fault.
Thanks for your comments, Fitnezz. Some problems with an article are obvious and shouldn't require a debate if the fix is reasonable. Sometimes it all comes down to a matter of opinion or preference between a writer and editor. That's when it gets hard to come to any understanding.
I think the HP editors do a good job overall in making changes or offering suggestions for articles. But now and then the system gets a crack in it.
I find all the prepositional phrases to be hard to read.
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