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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 If you're trying to "reserve" a URL, you can easily create a hub and save it unpublished for as long as you need to finish it, and publish it upon completion.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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