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From A Moderator's Mouth: Substandard Hubs

Updated on July 9, 2011
How do your hubs measure up?
How do your hubs measure up?

The category of "substandard hubs" is a broad one, so there's often confusion about what meets the criteria to be flagged as substandard, or what you have to do to bring your hub into compliance if it has been flagged as such. A few common reasons for moderation in the substandard category are listed below.

Please remember: As with my hub on overly promotional content, this is not meant as the be-all and end all of criteria, only as a tool for troubleshooting for popular problems.

If you have general questions about substandard content, leave them in the comments section at the bottom of this hub, and I'll do my level best to answer them. Specific questions about a particular hub can be fielded to

What is Substandard Content?

In the FAQ, substandard hubs are generally defined as those that do not meet HubPages' quality standards. That statement in and of itself, however, doesn't offer much explanation as to exactly what HubPages' standards are. As it turns out, the standards are very simple and pretty easy to meet. All you need to do is write a hub with quality, original content that might be of interest to someone other than yourself.

Common Problems

Empty or very short hubs

This item is pretty self-explanatory. A hub that consists of a link, feed, picture, or video, with little or no explanation or commentary, is not very useful to the community or to visitors from the web at large. Adding a few paragraphs of original, quality content is an easy way to remedy the problem if you've been flagged for a hub in this category.

Unfinished hubs

Users sometimes mistake HubPages for more of a blogging-type platform, with ongoing updated content. While we do encourage hubbers to continue adding to and improving their completed hubs, hubs that inform the reader that content is on the way are not very helpful in and of themselves. If you're trying to "reserve" a URL, you can easily create a hub and save it unpublished for as long as you need to finish it, and publish it upon completion.

Personal content

This is another common problem that stems from the blog vs. hub misunderstanding. While we do permit some poetry and anecdotal stories that add to a topic, hubs are not the place to journal, or simply talk about your day (though we'd love to hear how you're doing, and so would the community-just visit the Hubber's Hangout) or introduce yourself (that information should go on your profile page). The question you should pose to yourself if you're wondering whether your hub qualifies as personal is, "Would a stranger coming from a search engine or another site find this information useful?" If the answer is no, chances are your hub may be flagged for substandard content.

Formatting problems

If your hub is badly formatted, in a way that interferes with a user's ability to read or enjoy it, it is considered substandard and requires revision. This problem is easily avoided by taking a moment to hit "Preview" before publishing a hub, to make sure the text doesn't have extra line breaks or run off the edge of the allotted space. In addition, if there broken links or videos, a substandard flag may alert you to the need to update your hub.

Poor translation

It is hard to be a hubber if your native tongue is other than English. While HubPages isn't going to come down on you for a few misspellings or grammar mishaps, if the content of your hub is unintelligible to English speakers, it obviously can't be useful to our primarily English-speaking audience. The use of online translators often churns out text that makes virtually no sense, and we have to remove these hubs from circulation when they are brought to our attention.

Heavily saturated topics

Some topics have been covered extensively by other users. If you feel you have something new to say or a different take on a popular subject, by all means, create a hub to share it. However, we reserve the right to remove hubs that merely "flog a dead horse," so to speak. For example, there are over 300 hubs about making money online by taking paid surveys. At this point, chances are the topic is fully exhausted. In cases like these, your hub may be flagged because it isn't saying anything that hasn't been covered already.

A Few Final Words

Substandard hubs are easily avoided, and easily remedied. By concentrating on writing unique, evergreen content, you can escape the entire issue. Please remember, if your hub has been flagged as substandard, it isn't a judgement on you as a person, or even on your writing skills. High-quality content is what helps HubPages maintain its authority and ranking, so ultimately, what's good for the company is good for you in terms of better traffic and, often, higher revenue. We all want HubPages to thrive! Holding to standards is the key to success.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      just starting this program and confused about all the things i have to do when if comes to making money online

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      7 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Hi moyanbe!

      From your comment, I can guess that your Hubs were modded as substandard for punctuation/grammar/capitalization issues that interfere with the readability. An investigation of your account confirms this.

      Try taking the extra time to proofread your Hubs before you submit them, or ask someone close to you to do so. It makes all the difference!

    • profile image


      7 years ago from ogun state, nigeria

      hi the author, thanks for giving us more information about substandard content. Am a beginner her e and i have posted two hubs and both were rejected.i accept the claim for my first hub but the second hub was unpublished . I was told that it was substandard and has deceptive tag,title or category. As a beginner,what can i do because those hubs were written originally by myself.pls check the hubs. Thanks

    • YiMin profile image


      7 years ago from Malaysia

      Thank you very much for your help.

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      7 years ago from Oakland, CA


      It looks like your Hub was moderated for quality issues stemming from your use of language. When a Hub is difficult to read or understand, it is moderated as substandard.

      You can always get clarification on a flag by contacting the moderation team, which you can do at

    • DheKhan profile image


      7 years ago from J&K India

      Definitely, we all want our own hubpages to be the best and it is.

    • YiMin profile image


      7 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi, recently I have a hub flagged as substandard and I'm really worried about it. Even after I read the hub over and over again, I don't know what's wrong with it. Is there anymore reasons other than the ones you mention above?

    • humanwarnings profile image


      7 years ago from Toronto

      Maddie, thanks for writing me back. I recently got a short story approved. If you have the time, check it out. I also just submitted an article. I'd love to hear your feedback, being a moderator.. You could let me know if this site is a good fit for my writing.

    • tnvrstar profile image


      7 years ago from doha, qatar

      OK! Now my goal is to Publish 10 Hubs without any revision. I hope my account will be removed from probation one day.

      Thanks for your reply.

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      7 years ago from Oakland, CA


      Once we see that you have a pattern of attempting to publish only Hubs that meet our standards, your account will be removed from probation and you will be able to publish without review. Unfortunately, the Hubs you have submitted recently often still require revision.

    • tnvrstar profile image


      7 years ago from doha, qatar

      @Maddie Ruud ,

      I joined Hubpages 2 years ago. I admit my Grammar is not very good because English is not my native language. At the beginning I wrote some Hubs on computer ticks which got very popular.

      Suddenly my account was flagged. Now I have to go through administrator review process to publish a new Hub. I think it is good for me since I get the opportunity to improve my English.

      But I get frustrated when I don't get the freedom to edit my Hubs. If I make any simple changes the Hub has to wait in the queue to get reviewed by the moderators. Sometime it takes 2 days and the Hub loses its search engine traffic.

      I never published any copied/spammy content. Now I try my best keep my Hub away from major grammatical mistakes.

      Can you please help me to get rid of this problem? How can I get my account back to normal? I don't have any problem when my new Hubs are reviewed by a moderator but I want the freedom to edit my previously Published Hubs. Please kindly help me or give me suggestion. Your help will be appreciated.

      Thank you.

    • dress4less profile image


      7 years ago

      Having just submitted my first hub that has been classed as substandard I have found this hub really useful. I did find it a little frustrating that there was no explanation at all as to why is was classed substandard.

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      7 years ago from Oakland, CA


      I'm sorry you're so frustrated. HubPages is designed for substantial stand-alone content pieces, so very short Hubs are indeed moderated. Try adding additional content and a few original pictures, or a video. Otherwise, good luck in your writing endeavors, wherever you choose to undertake them.

    • humanwarnings profile image


      7 years ago from Toronto

      I submitted some great ideas, and I'm not illiterate, but every post I post is deemed "substandard". So I'm about to give up on hubpages. My posts are very short, but I pride myself on being short and to the point. I am irate about this.

    • arunii profile image


      7 years ago from Delhi

      Really very helpful. Recently one of my article termed as substandard and after reading your tips i am sure i will escape my hub easily

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Love the term evergreen content. Food for thought. Thanks for the help.

    • pertibha321 profile image


      8 years ago from india

      Hey dear you all are working great but i have few questions.As much i read about changes hubpages has made i think hubpages just targeting on US audience.Am i write?

      As much i know hubpages gets 23% of its traffic from India.Alexa says so,may be that's inaccurate.All of my hubs have been flagged saying they are of substanderd.After reviewing them i got many mistakes,have been edited and now i think they are fine to be on hubpages.Still am improving them and will submit for publication when i will feel that they are good enough.

      I think a site as big as hubpages should target on international audience,not only on US audience.So what's your take on it?

      Does peoples should come with country specific sites like as people who's native language is not English,how they gonna perform?

      My native language is Hindi but still i read articles on sites like ezinearticles,articlesbase and others.They are not well written from my point of view(as if i need to write same thing there will be many changes)still i understand what articles want to say.I think to understand things of any writer we need to use our mind.Nothing can be so so simple that we just read and understand without using our mind or it can be?

      May be i am wrong but i just asked what i feel?

    • Romano Arnesto profile image

      Romano Arnesto 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for the infos listed here. Yes, most of Asian hubbers, like me have problems in English grammar. Although it's our second language, we try to excel on it and convey information that emanates from this side of the world.

    • blackjava profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      I agree with the two comments above. I have had a couple of hubs flagged as substandard. I see no clear reason for this. The last one I just did was immediately flagged as substandard. it was a recipe with images. I added an amazon module. My problem is I see all kinds of hubs that have less content than mine and they are still active. A very specific reason for flagging a hub is needed. Other wise how can we learn what is required?

    • arthurchappell profile image


      8 years ago from Manchester, England

      I agree with Humagia - clearer identification of a problem would help - I too have my first hub marked as sub-standard put of 270 good ones - corrected a few minor typos and did some editing and now left in tenterhooks and in the doldrums waiting for the moderators to see it, but unsure if i've cracked their concerns. Interestingly, the Hub is still getting marked down, point by point, even though officially only readable by me and admin. Very distressing to feel my entire web presense could be compromised by a single hub that could be fixed quickly if I had a clearer idea what I was fixing. Wondering how long it takes admin to get round to reading such problem Hubs - keen to get things back on track but it seems to be left in Limbo here.

    • humagaia profile image

      Charles Fox 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Maddie, thanks for this necessary hub. I agree with Pamela99 though that some form of communication would be appropriate to explain why a hub has been moderated as substandard, and what aspect needs to be improved so that re-issuing a revised version of the hub does not get re-moderated as substandard. This would assist both the author and the moderation process, the latter alleviating some of the time that would be wasted by the moderator having to moderate a number of times, when one additional moderation could be enough.

      The issue for authors on this is that there is a warning that constant issuing of substandard content will cause one's account to be closed. If we do not know the specific's of why a hub is substandard we are 'in the dark' as to what aspect to address.

      I have now written 180 hubs which seem to have been considered within standard. Today I find one that has been moderated as substandard. It is a recent, 4 day old hub, admittedly. It has a hubscore of 73 which would normally indicate to me that the majority of the criterion for content volume are met and that the general content is viable. It has over 1000 words so the word count should be fine. It had reached a volume of 50+ external hits per day in the 3 days it has been published which would indicate that the search engines found that the content was SEO'd to their serps requirements. In fact, none of the 'some common reasons' for moderation, seem to fit.

      I have been using a piece of software to analyse and SEO the content and wonder whether the changes suggested and implemented have caused the moderation.

      I understand that discussing individual hubs is not for the comments section here but would appreciate a suggestion as to how a dialogue could be instigated so that I can address the issues raised by the moderation in a swift and mutually agreeable manner without causing excessive delays and additional, time-consuming effort for your moderators.

      A simple 'do this, and everything will be fine' explanation would be appreciated. Thanks

      PS I presume you will be able to find the hub in question by my profile and the fact that it is the only one recently flagged.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I have a substandard hub for the first time and I understand if that is true why it would be blocked from the public, but I also can't see the hub. How am I suppose to correct the problem or even know what the problem was if I can't see it. I found it accidentally. I think some notification would be nice. I am usually quite meticulous about by hubs and I find this very upsetting.

    • OpinionDuck profile image


      8 years ago

      not true

    • profile image

      Jessie T. Ponce 

      8 years ago

      Great info Maddie. Thanks. I just posted my first hub and I am anxious to know how it gets rated. These tips will surely make me try harder. Cheers.

    • carrie450 profile image


      8 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      Thank you Maddie, I'll keep on trying. The last hub I did kept saying substandard so I deleted it and the next day it was published with no problem, thaanks

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      8 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Hi Carrie,

      I just looked at your account, and none of the Hubs you've published are marked as substandard. When you are first creating a hub, it may display that warning while you are working on it, before you've added enough content, but once you've got a decent amount of text, it should go away. If you have specific examples, feel free to email me through the link on my profile.

    • carrie450 profile image


      8 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      I began huppages a few months ago but I am now getting discouraged because nearly every single hub I post says substandard. For example, christmas is coming and no matter how I changed things around it still says substandard. I finally gave up.

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you for this hub. I've learned a lot. Voted-up/rated

    • jennasbigbras profile image


      9 years ago

      I get so confused sometimes with hub scores and author scores this has been a very useful read (and definitely a hub I should have read months ago!).

    • wendi_w profile image


      9 years ago from Midwest

      thank you . I just keep learning more everyday.

    • rallenbrewster profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Very informative hub, gave me a lot of insight. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and clearing a few things up.

    • Silver_Lotus profile image


      10 years ago from U.S.A.

      very informative - thanks!

    • Wendy Mills profile image

      Wendy Malowany 

      10 years ago from Wainfleet, ON, Canada

      This is excellent information that is helpful for everyone, but particularly for those new to Hubpages. I believe, for the most part, most people do not intentially create poor hubpages or "spam" it is more a question of being unaware. You did an excellent job of giving good advice without being judgmental or too harsh on people who are just unaware of the nuances and etiquette of social sites.

      Thanks Maddie!

    • Nickel profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for the link. Very imformative.

    • jshaiju profile image


      10 years ago from Chennai, India

      A must read for all hubbers. Useful information.

    • RyanRE profile image


      10 years ago from Bellingham, WA

      I am new to Hubpages, so reading Hubs like this is probably the right thing to do. I have to say that Hubpages is taking a little more time than I thought to get the hang of.

    • charlemont profile image


      10 years ago from Lithuania

      I am esp. afraid of "poor translation section", though I've never used online translation services and try to use my own knowledge of English (which is not my native tongue).

    • jewels1977 profile image


      10 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Thanks for the information. This is an important subject matter for anyone new to hubpages.

    • Robert Huizenga profile image

      Robert Huizenga 

      10 years ago from Muskegon, Michigan

      Thanks Maddie. This is very helpful information.

    • FinancePortal profile image


      10 years ago from UK

      Thanks for taking the time to write this up, it clears up a couple of questions I had. I must say, the comments are just as informative as the hub itself!


    • WeClick2Travel profile image


      10 years ago from Northern Michigan

      I have a question about the word "useful" I'm just starting out and one of my 3 hubs is intended as humorous. Is entertaining considered "usefull" or is Hub Pages intended to be a "knowledge base" community?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      nice...!!!! tq....

    • dojimonster profile image


      10 years ago

      lOL i got flagged once. At that time i didn't anything about HP

    • joblot profile image


      10 years ago from Ringwood

      Great as always - Very simple and to the point. Much appreciated, cheers, Dan.

    • bluerabbit profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for the great introduction.

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 

      10 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Great! HP needed someone to explain everything...if only people would read.

    • Acorn Valley profile image

      Acorn Valley 

      10 years ago from WV

      Great tips for new hubbers. I'm just figuring out how all this works and hubs like this one really help.

    • sam thewlis profile image

      sam thewlis 

      10 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Thank you, I just wrote my first hub and it was very scary, but I hope I have avoided the pitfalls thanks to your article and have my fingers crossed not to get a substandard (please!)

    • Earl S. Wynn profile image

      Earl S. Wynn 

      11 years ago from California

      Great points! I think the one that throws me the most (while reading) is if there's a translation issue, because it just pulls you right out of the reading and looks disturbingly unprofessional.

    • firetown profile image


      11 years ago from Costa Rica

      OK I will try harder now, thanks!

    • dindin profile image


      11 years ago from Texas

      Very good tips for a NewB like me


    • francetales profile image


      11 years ago from Toulouse, France

      This brought up an interesting point for me. Do you add to your own pageviews when you visit your pages to edit them or review them quickly? Can it be set that if you are logged into Hub Pages and you visit your own Hubs that it doesn't count toward page views? Like in Analytics how you can exclude your own visits.

    • Wbisbill profile image


      11 years ago from Tennessee USA

      Excellent and helpful to us newbies!

    • J D Murrah profile image

      J D Murrah 

      11 years ago from Refugee from Shoreacres, Texas


      Your hub has a lot of practical information that I was looking for. I appreciate you writing on the topic.

      Jeff Murrah

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 

      11 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Thanks Maddie. Someone should also mention that everyone should try using their spellchecker. I don't know how to go about telling people about their spelling errors and I know if I had some I would want someone to let me know. Poor spelling reflects poorly on their hub, even if it has great content.

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      11 years ago from Oakland, CA


      We don't have a set number of words we look for, but rather use reasonable judgement to determine whether there's enough content there to merit an entire page's creation. While we don't want you to drag out a subject beyond what is necessary, if you're saying something that only takes a paragraph to say, it probably isn't a good topic for a hub anyway.

      In my own experience as a hubber, hubs over 300 words generally perform best, but that is in no way HubPages' rule. It's not cut-and-dry, unfortunately, since if someone writes a longer hub with almost no actual content, it also may be flagged as substandard.

    • jezzbb profile image

      Jess Ba-ad 

      11 years ago from Philippines

      Is there a minimum no. of words so as not to be treated as 'very short hub'? Very helpful guidelines by the way.

    • Coach Gerry profile image

      Coach Gerry 

      11 years ago from Loveland


      Your info is very helpful and fun to read. Keep up the great work --I for one can use the help.


    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony T 

      11 years ago from London UK

      This hub measures up very well..!! Very usefull info for everyone. thanks¬..

    • seamus profile image


      11 years ago

      Thanks! Empty hubs bum me out. Hopefully, new people will learn. I have a lot to learn myself.

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 

      11 years ago from California


      Again a wonderful Hub adding clarification to this matter. Thanks.

    • Tessali profile image


      11 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Maddie. Your hubs always give good information.

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 

      11 years ago from Around the USA

      Maddie, I didn't know about reporting comments as spam. I guess I didn't pay close enough attention. Thanks for making me aware of this, as I always just deleted them.

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 

      11 years ago from United States

      Maddie, it is great that you are doing these hubs! It helps clear up so many questions that many ask. Can't wait to see what you write next!


    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 

      11 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thx, Maddie. You say it so well in a way that alleviates any confusion.

    • DJ Funktual profile image

      DJ Funktual 

      11 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

      Great idea Maddie.

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      11 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Jason Stanley:

      We leave comment moderation to individual hubbers' discretion, for the most part. Some hubbers don't mind comments like "Great hub!" while others prefer to remove anything that doesn't add to the content of the page. So really, it's up to you what stays and what goes on your hubs.

      If someone drops promotional links in your comments, please flag those comments "spam," as that helps our system identify people who are abusing the comments section. If someone *consistantly* drops links, please shoot us an email so we can take appropriate action directly.

    • Jason Stanley profile image

      Jason Stanley 

      11 years ago

      While it may seem silly, but there are some coments that seem "substandard". Mostly they seem to be spam "Great hub, come buy my product" but are there others to watch for?

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      11 years ago from Oakland, CA


      Thanks so much for your kind words. Regarding unpublished hubs, they do not affect your HubScore, and the hits you see on them are your own, from editing and/or viewing the hub yourself. Hope that clears up any confusion!

    • recoveringredneck profile image

      Tonia Clark 

      11 years ago from Idaho

      If everybody followed this advice the "hubbing" world would be so much nicer don't you think?

      My question Maddie is this. If I have a hub I'm working on and it's still "unpublished" does leaving it unpublished for say a week or longer in any way affect my overall hubscore? If so how long until it does? And why is it that in statistics it shows that I've had hits on my site when it's not published yet? The last hub I published showed it had been visited 8 times before I had even published it. Does it count when I'm working on it?

      P.S. Maddie, not too sound like a "brown-noser" but you are one of my favorite hubbers and I think that HubPages made a smart move in making you a moderator! Good luck in all you do!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Excellent information!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      11 years ago

      Hi Maddie. great hub. Very useful info. I didn't know that you remove hubs that are redundant with others. I guess before I start a hub, I should check whether my topic has already been written about so many times or not.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      11 years ago from Seattle

      Maddie, I love that you are doing these informational hubs!

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      11 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      You have written it so clear that I think we all should know what is correct now thats for sure Thanks Maddie

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      11 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Maddie! Thanks for the explanations.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • sminut13 profile image


      11 years ago from singapore

      great hub. very informative. i am now more aware of how to avoid substandard hubs. thanks so much for sharing.


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