I was hub hopping and had to flag a few hubs for being substandard (word count). One hub had exactly 10 words and 2 photos. There should be a way the system prevents you from publishing a hub like that except if it's in the poetry section.
Cardissa- Good point on a good subject.
It seems that HP is continuing to evolve towards allowing the great Google to control a Hubbers quality ranking using things like; 1- separate domains, 2- the IDLE HUB categorizations, and 3- a deepening reliance on us, the Hubbers, to catch and flag the increasing levels of Crap on HP.
When I started on HP, over three years ago, I was writing on a much more liberal HP site. Since then, I have seen a number of good tools implemented, but with each one, along with the good, there are more and more controls implemented on us all.
But, I digress.
I do agree with you on a minimal word count for any Hub other than Poetry, Questions and Recipes. These can inherently be short of content.
And i think that limit should be in the 300-500 word range. When you look at and story whether fictional, factual, instructional, or commentary, in my opinion, you will need to have used at least this many words to make a viable point or tell a decent story.
My personal complaint, are these third-world (sorry, but invariable that is what they are) people who sign up on HP, write either NO HUBS or maybe just a couple, (and these are usually incoherent).
Once they join, they are allowed to follow other writers in an attempt to get a reciprocal following.
I have just spent twenty minutes trying to read two Hubs from one of these people, and what they wrote was totally incoherent, so I flagged them.
Anyway, Great Forum subject!
Don.....You and I cannot possibly be the only 2 hubbers AWARE of the crap that is published by the 3rd. world group ( I agree).......and ALLOWED to remain available for people to "attempt" to read. What irks me further is the "who cares" attitude we're seeing here.....Thank you for speaking up. I've been feeling like the Lone Ranger. It takes all my self-restraint to not print the NAMES of these hubbers, but I couldn't do this to anyone. When a child behaves poorly....we need to LOOK at the parents (HP). right? lol
There are also hubs which post art. I don't think those should be required to post a word count, the content is the art.
Don, as a recipe and fiction writer I have have made it a rule to make my recipes no less than 500 words. This happened when I entered the first recipe contest here last year and the requirement was 500 words. A flash fiction is 300-500 words and most publisher will tell you 500-800. So it is safe to apply these rules to all categories except for poetry and even with Haiku you can set a limit as that form of poetry has a standard writing procedure.
I too am concerned about people who sign up just to get noticed. I don't think these people are writers at all.
If I should ever be so fortunate to have a content site such as HP each registrant would need to submit a writing sample and wait 36 hours for approval.....but that's just me.
Cardisa, I totally agree with you on the whole topic but I feel that recipes should be an exception. I feel that sometimes simpler is better. When I look for good recipes I am only interested in the ingredients & the cooking method and I don't want to read long stories that don't have much to do with cooking. This only adds to our information overload.
I agree with you on that. I want just the recipe.
Miss Novascotiamiss, you are right. Recipes can have less than the 500 words unless it's a nutrition hub. Some people like to know the nutritional benefits of a particular food.
I rememberbeing told a couple years ago that Google does not even pick up on content that is less than about 250-300 words.
I wish that were true but it isn't.
I have frequently found when typing questions into Google, page 1 results show from the likes of webanswers or ask.com where the exact question is asked, but there are no replies.
Yes, I have seen a lot of that as well. Also, 100 word articles that are complete crap appear in the top of the SERP's based around really sought after keywords. I'm assuming that age of the site must have something to do with that?!
Google does pick it up - that's the point. Google's Panda algorithm picks it up, looks at it, decides it's "shallow" content, and slaps a low Panda score on the entire domain as a punishment. That's how Panda works, and that's why everyone is now recommending writing more than 250 words.
Even Helium, which does some pretty dumb things, has set a minimum word count of 400 words.
http://blog.hubpages.com/2012/11/qualit … t-process/
Here's what they're doing about it.
I thought hubs that were mostly photos were allowed in certain categories. There have been Hubs of the Day, that weren't much more than photos with one line of description.
I thought it would not let you publish and come up with a warning sign. I have seen a warning sign by the side of the hub, initially when you start writing a hub, to warn you that the hub would be identified as sub-standard!
My understanding is that each photo must be accompanied by a description of at least 50 words, that would make it 100 words for the two photos. Plus, in order for the warning to go away you need 100 words.
I dislike writing a long description for any images added here. Everything you type in the description gets centred and looks out of place. HP needs to change that so that the description will have more flow with the rest of the article we post.
Cardisa, I've never heard of this rule and I don't really think that it applies to pictures embedded in an article. To me this only makes sense if you just post a few pictures with no actual article.
@Livingsta, even though the warning is there, it still allows you to publish. We are asking that the system not allow a hubber to publish a hub with less than 100 words (except for the poetry category) since it already has that as a minimum.
No kidding! I don't know why anyone would even do that.
Oh Ok Cardisa!
Yes I think there should be a minimum number of words for a hub to qualify for publishing! Ten words is just a sentence I guess!
Totally agree, there should be a rule on word count definitely. Those are the types of hubs that are bringing hub pages rank down
cardisa, as long as you have so kindly opened this up for discussion.......I actually see numerous issues, other than "word count," that cause me to wonder how HP allows a hub to remain published! The reality is, when I take the time to cruise around or hub hop, to read "random hubs," I am shocked, and appalled at some of the literal garbage. HP simply leaves utter CRAP on this site, that can horrify any unsuspecting reader.
IMO, it's rather ironic and a bit baffling, how HP jumps on certain things like "adult content," particular topics, "graphic and/or disturbing" details (and the long list of other discrepancies).....YET, they simply pass right by a hub that is so POORLY written, it would not qualify as an essay written by an 8 year old.
I refer to: sentence structure, use of proper tense, inaccurate verbiage, misspelling, absence of punctuation, run-on sentences, missing words.....and any and every manner of slaughter of our beautiful English language. Normally, I cannot even force myself to read an entire hub written so poorly, that they make my eyes bleed. It's actually quite sad. After reading such insults to our intelligence and awareness, I may read comments that tell this inept writer "what a wonderful & interesting hub"...and "you write so well." I sit in total shock, thinking, "This person did NOT just read the same hub I read and then proceed to compliment the writer (?)!!" They certainly do this person a disservice, encouraging them to continue to write in their backward, illiterate manner!
While I do not comment negatively, I surely do not write blatant lies! I also refuse to FLAG anything. IMO, this is the purpose of moderators who should READ more hubs, as opposed to having their electronic robots "pick up" whatever it is they pick up! Besides....in 15 months I FLAGGED something once, for the very reasons I mention here. As far as I could see, absolutely NOTHING was done because the offending hub REMAINS, in all it's despicable form. So, my question would be, why bother to waste my valuable time, flagging anything?
It continues to be a mystery to me, how HP determines anything. Yet, they are the ones who make the rules. They simply don't enforce them across the board for ALL hubbers. It appears to be a random pick and choose. In any event, it is not beneficial to HP in general nor fair in the least, to the writers.............Thanks for the opportunity, Cardisa.
fpherj48 I feel your pain and that is exactly why I joined the welcome wagon team. I flag them but the more flags they receive the faster the staff picks them up and do something. When you find something else like that just send the link to a few people, like myself, and we will have it flagged multiple times.
The new hopper is supposed to help deal with issued like these by rating the hub.
I totally understand your frustration and I am sometimes amazed myself what people publish & what comments they get. And here we come to the hubber etiquette. I've become aware that some hubbers actually think that criticism is not allowed - only nice comments. I totally agree with this as I feel that criticism is very constructive and actually helps the writer (unless of course it's just plain rude and inappropriate). I also believe that some people leave nice comments in the hope that they will receive the same in return. But I guess, we cannot change that. The only thing we can do (and admit I do it a lot) is to flag inappropriate hubs. I don't do it because I am a mean person, I do it to improve the site and to vent my frustration.
I agree. If there's a minimum word count, then it shouldn't be possible for Hubs to be published with less than that number of words. It's not rocket science.
I do agree and hate to play the devil's advocate but.... isn't this the reason we have idle hubs?
My sentiments exactly WryLilt!!
What a joke the idle hubs policy is!
Sadly, Hubbers are suffering as a consequence.
Except the idle hubs don't work instantly to remove bad hubs, when a hub is published it is given a chance to attract search engine traffic before it is considered "under performing" and no-indexed. In the meantime Google slaps the site down for having "thin content". I guess this is why we have the hub hopper, but it doesn't really seem to work all the time.
I am really puzzled by the way HP is doing things, on the one hand it seems to be going to great lengths to remove bad content, idle hubs, paying to have hubs hopped etc. On the other hand some very simple methods are not implemented, like not publishing hubs that are below a certain word count or that have a very low score? It's like they think these solutions are too simple, and not exciting enough to be worthy of consideration.
Sorry aalite, my mistake, I meant Pending Hubs not Idle Hubs.
I thought the thinking behind Pending hubs was to prevent sub-standard information being published.
I was actually responding to Wrylilt about idle hubs. I'm not sure what happens to hubs in Pending, I assume they are seen in HubHopper, then substandard stuff slips through because not all people flag stuff. The thing is that checking length of hubs etc. can be automated, they don't need need human judgement, they should be caught before the hub hopper.
So you're right, the Pending of hubs doesn't really seem to work. I've come across several hubs that are just long lists of links, how come these were allowed to be published?
Does it matter what other people publish? Let their hubs get flagged and deleted, if what they publish truly does suck.
kathleenkat, I agree.
I think we have to be very careful here in telling others what is good, what is appropriate, or substandard. I, for one, would hate to discourage a budding writer who is putting their heart into a hub but it is not meeting our standards. Their lack of views will be the price they pay as they learn.
I always tell a hubber when they write less than 400 words they need to expand on their subject. I've researched and read many books to write my hubs, and resent not only short hubs filled with pictures, but also recipes. Anyone copies a recipe from a magazine or family member or friend, and it has nothing to do with writing. Also, this is not a photography site, and as long as the photos have attributions, that a hub should be judged by photos with few words is unreasonable. I finally made more than $50 in one month after 2 years, and the powers that be are telling me I didn't. I clearly see it in my earnings page. I plan to finish my last Astrology series and move on. It's not worth it here anymore.
Are you guys saying that a hub with 2 photos and ten words should not be flagged in case I discourage a budding writer?
As far as my experience goes a budding writer loves to write and will find any and everything to write about. I don't think a budding writer would be comfortable to publish ten words. And by the way, those two photos weren't even original.....lol...so the hub was based on copied photos and ten words...that in my book is not a budding writer.
I usually agree but I have a political piece I wrote two years ago that has 5 images and 285 words - it went a little viral when I published it and still gets decent views.
Yes it matters.
It matters to every single one of us who wants to have successful hubs here.
Substandard work has pulled the whole site down, and resulted in many of us losing traffic and earnings.
Like it or not, all our work is interlinked.
Our hubs are only as good as those linked to them.
I do agree with you, IzzyM. I am flagging more and more Hubs. Saw one yesterday with only photos, NO text. Some of them have to be read a couple of times to try and understand the meaning! A lot of them are just advertisements for a company.
Yes, it matters a lot!
IzzyM is correct. Publishing hubs is not about freedom of speech. HP is a business and needs to operate as such.
Just to question...again...why isn't the "PENDING" hubs process weeding out these sub-standard hubs?
HP's failure to allow established and reputable authors to publish content immediately, aside from an elite few, is a total shambles and the "PENDING" hubs process an absolute joke!
..Kathleenkat & Duff'sMom .All you really need to do, is cruise around for a couple of hours and randomly read hubs to find the extremely poorly written ones. What difference does it make? You may find it easier to understand if you think about it in this way:
You and your family have a well-built, fully- maintained home in a safe, friendly neighborhood. You are careful to abide by all regulations and specifications required by the local code enforcement agency. You have pooled your time and efforts into creating lovely landscaping and take pains to protect your investment.
All of your neighbors have done much the same, with their property, adding to the beauty and value of the overall area.....except for 2 or 3 neighbors, whose homes are in poor condition, with rotting wood, broken windows and trash-strewn everywhere. They are also in violation of local regulations and codes.
These homes are a detriment to the vicinity, reducing the value of homes around them and creating a negative overall opinion of the neighborhood in general, thereby discouraging many to live there.
The community objects to these "substandard" and neglected properties and files (flags) complaints with the home owner's association and/or other authorities. Yet, no positive or helpful action is taken and these homes are allowed to remain in their current state of destruction & decay.
IzzyM has said it clearly and simply. I have tried to explain further. We should ALL care.
Budding writers?? Please Kathleen, do you really mean, "wanna-be writers?" "Heart and Soul," is at the core of every writer ever born. The hubs in question here, are a matter of using heart, to throw illiteracy and chaos onto a page and naively believe their sewage, creates license to refer to him/herself as a "WRITER."
I don't understand why it matters. If someone else wants to publish a low quality hub, why do you care? If they want to post a hub about whatever and just put some photos and a few one liners, why does the hub community care? If they have followers that are interested then leave them alone. In the long run if the hubs aren't good then they won't earn anything.
Did you actually read all of the posts in this thread before you came out with this comment??
HP is NOT about making a fortune, my friends.
HP is about Writing!
So, Buck UP!
Most of us on HP want to read quality works.
Most of us do not have time to open and close Hubs full of poor English and boring subjects.
Write quality works or move on to one of the many JUNK sites where everyone writes Crap!
Why are you replying to me on a reply I made to another hubber?
I agree with you.
Because when Google sees thin content hubs, it gives the whole HubPages a penalty and excellent hubs written by people who work really hard at them and know what they are doing don't get any traffic.
If it were just a matter of hubs that aren't good not earning anything I wouldn't care at all what anybody else wrote, but these really bad hubs are pulling the whole site down, so nobody earns. Perhaps you have heard of this Google animal known as "The Panda"?
Christa Michele....No need to repeat myself, nor for the other writers to do so either. READ the stream of comments for the answer to your questions and the reason your attitude is unfortunate. This is a site for FREELANCE W R I T E R S..........not a charity center for illiterates to make "friends," who read their gibberish. If I'm not mistaken...there are any number of SOCIAL websites for this.
It DOES matter and the literate of the Hub community CARE.
When was this hub posted? I'd be surprised if it was recently- hubpages is getting stricter and stricter so they can have higher quality content.
I remember doing the "hub hopper" and I would see all kinds of garbage. (I think a lot of these people expected a get-rich-quick scheme.
Check the feed. http://hubpages.com/hubs/latest/
Ignore the ones published less than 24 hours ago - these are hubs by trusted hubbers who bypass pending.
There is still plenty of garbage getting featured daily on this site.
Check out the hub hopper to see the full extent of the crap still getting published.
This being an open publishing platform means that there will always be substandard hubs getting written. It is a matter of deciding how to deal with them.
Hello? "WHEN," hubs and comments are written, is clearly printed next to each name..... e.g "Don Bobbit "posted 15 minutes ago".....this means 15 minutes ago TODAY, not 6 months ago.
Hubpages has always been fairly strict with their rules and expectations.......these are things that somehow "fall through the cracks." This is the point here. It should not be happening with such frequency by so many.......not that HP is stricter or less strict.
no need for attitude ma'am. I haven't stumbled across substandard hubs posted recently (try to avoid)- which is why I asked. jeesh
Maybe she is just feeling as frustrated as the rest of us over the sheer amount of total crap still being published on HP while we are having to jump through hoops to get the decent stuff out there.
You must be one of the very few hubbers on HP who are unaware of the extent of the problem.
No excuse. Frustrated or not- she needs to have better control.
Anyways, I thought the issue was being worked on by hubpages. They can't fix it over night. It's probably pretty hard to figure out an algorithm or some type of system to scan for this. And then, to fix the glitches in that system. It's going to take awhile.
@Mariexotoni, the hubs that triggered this forum were recently published. As you know only newly published or released hubs within the last couple of days will show up in the hopper. Some of this garbage are getting through and I don't know why.
There are some bad hubs out there. I only joined last Thursday and have been trying very hard to write good and acceptable hubs. Last night I was hub hopping and came across a hub that had an interesting title. As I started to read it it became more and more difficult to understand. You could tell English was not their native language. What surprised me more was the comments left at the bottom raving about how good it was. Seriously? I am trying hard to grow as a writer. This makes me think that when people leave comments on my hubs are they being truly honest when they say my work is good when it really stinks.
I just found a hub where I misspelled "household" in the title. It was several months old and I am sure others had noticed it. I had not and would have appreciated some feedback. I agree those positive comments at the bottom of a bad hub are not helpful. That is not the way help us improve.
If I had noticed I would have told you.
It is actually quite easy to tell someone in the comment section of a hub, with a note to ask them to disapprove the comment.
That way, the writer gets to fix a glaring error that they missed, and others can point out something that is wrong without any lasting damage to the hub.
I know we can email the hubber through HP, but not everyone wants to do that.
What I would hate is if someone wrote an insightful comment, and then added btw you have a mistake in such-a-such place.
You would have to delete the whole comment after correcting the error, which is not what was wanted.
I just do a page refresh, then add the insightful and helpful comment.
Comments bring new keywords into hubs as well as reinforce targeted ones.
Thanks Izzy that is a great point. I would definitely appreciate any comments because, as you point out, they can always be denied. Most of us need help sometimes.
I guess I have been fortunate to have hubbers help me correct my mistakes. I have had hubbers leave insightful comments on the content then say, "there are a few typos you need to check". I guess it depends on the tone of the correction.
I read a very wonderful hub yesterday but it had a very huge mistake in it (not a grammar or spelling mistake). Instead of leaving a comment that would have been hypocritical, I emailed the hubber about the mistake. She was grateful as that mistake could cause her reputation and credibility.
Hubbers need to be honest when they leave comments but also be courteous at the same time. They also need to be discreet about pointing out errors.
The tone of the correction doesn't matter, Cardisa. The point is, it should not be in a comment that is left on page, unless the hub is about spelling errors and corrections!
Honestly, delete negative comments that are not related to the hub content.
They confuse the googlebot.
While HP seems to be turning more into some kind of social network - what with the Ning|Glam Social thing at the foot of each page, and the Google Analytics traffic from HP changing from Referral to Social, the comments section is there to add more words to the page.
"Good hub" and such silly comments just don't cut it, unless the commenter goes on to explain why it is a good hub with reference to the main keywords on the page, perhaps adding related ones of their own.
The whole point in making comments at all on hubs is to create a backlink back to you. Take your mind away from the whole social networking or being friendly/community thing for a moment.
Every time you comment, you increase your own visibility online.
The spammers know that. That is why you see "good hub" comments on really poor hubs. That is probably their alter ego, a secondary account.
HP promote popular hubs by having featured hubs lists, hot hubs, Hubs of the day - these are good hubs to comment on.
While it does lead to genuine friendships online, the ability to comment at all is not there to make friends. It is to reinforce the words in your hub. If a whole conversation starts in the comment section on a related issue, that hub does better than if there were no comments at all.
One of my earliest hubs was written about an historical incident in Scotland.
A complete stranger made a reference to Nes Pers indians in the comment sections.
I had no idea what Nes Pers indians was and searching Google was not any help as there was no reference there either.
Then my hub started attracting search engine traffic from other people looking for Nes Pers indians. For the longest time, my hub was #1 in search for the term!
Unfortunately I couldn't write a hub round that term because I know nothing about Nespers Indians.
But it just goes to show how Google works, and how the comments section can boost a hub in ways you couldn't imagine.
Thanks for the explanation Izzy. I hadn't thought of it that way. Come to thing of it, I had a hub that was doing fairly well until two people decided to have a discussion on it. The discussion moved from the topic of my hub to their own personal discussions. I turned off the comments to discourage them and the hub traffic fell. I had to turn on back the comments before traffic stabilized.
Oh dear, that's depressing. In other words, we're all at the mercy of the rates over at Mechanical Turk!
Which we can't join, Marisa, not being the USA!
I think it's maybe a good move to not allow ads on until a hub is featured, but I'm not seeing any other changes like more of us getting added to the bypass pending feature for new hubs published.
I'm not seeing anything positive here at all, to be honest.
I don't see why we should all suffer just because some people use HP as a blog to discuss their life, a place to practise writing English, or a place where they can put up any old spun nonsense with a link back to their own site.
If those of us not in the US cannot use Mechanical Turk, would you suggest we just flag all of those blog type of hubs? (Too personal!) I saw one about a houseboy in India today; there were five or six comments at the bottom of the page but when I read it just picked up on a personal story. It did not seem appropriate to the site.
Well I don't know anything about houseboys in India; I don't even know what they are! If I ever wanted to know about them, would this hub have told me?
I can't comment because I didn't see the hub, but in general hubs that are purely personal should be flagged. What is it HP says? Is this hub useful to anyone who does not personally know the hubber? Something to that effect.
Rating hubs through Mechanical Turk is expected to reach the same conclusion on hubs that HP staff have already reached.
Ratings that are way off the mark will be picked up. As far as I know the reason for the mass ratings is to input the data into a computer program so that the process can be automated.
If that is even possible - the mighty Google can't even do that. Instead they look for words in specific orders, synonyms of the same words on the same page, certain word spellings etc, but they cannot possible tell that a hub or site is in poor or broken English and basically unreadable, unless a human reads it.
I'm cynical about this because of my experience at Helium. Helium have had a peer rating system in place since their inception (five or six years ago). If you want your articles to earn money on Helium, you must have a "rating star", which means you have to do a certain amount of rating each month.
Now tell me if this sounds familiar: naturally, the temptation is to rush through rating just to get your star - so Helium has quality safeguards in place. You can only earn a ratings star if your ratings are "good quality", as judged against various criteria (including how others rate the same article). Over the years, Helium has been constantly working on this algorithm to improve its accuracy: but in spite of all that work the results are still cr@p.
And bear in mind, on Helium ALL the rating is done by other writers, whom you might expect to have a vested interest in making the system work.
So frankly, I'm pessimistic about HubPages being able to come up with a more accurate system in a fraction of the time.
If it makes you feel any better I am one of the raters on MTurk. It looks like HP puts up around 1200 or so hubs a day to be rated and I personally rate around 200ish or so of them. (I know at least one other hubber who also does it). Turkers are a savvy bunch. There are much easier hits to do for 5 cents. HP hits only make sense on an hourly wage basis if you are getting the bonuses that come with accuracy... high accuracy. Like 90% accuracy or better. Otherwise there are a couple thousand other jobs that pay much better per hour. In short... either you are good at rating hubs or it isn't worth it.
I've been here a couple years and according to the "how much does the average hubber make a month" page I am in the top 10 percent of earners... at least I was a couple months ago... haven't really been paying attention lately. I also have a B.A. in English. Does that make you feel any better?
That's certainly good to know, but a lot depends on how good the "accuracy" calculator is. Helium also has an accuracy calculator, which they've been refining and improving for the past five years. Yet WriteAngled and I are both able to do score well on it, even though neither of us (I'm ashamed to say) rates carefully - I never read past the first paragraph.
I assumed (and I might be way off here) that HP was using one of the two methods that requesters usually use on MTurk to do QA on their hits...
1. They mix in hits (hubs) which have already been human analyzed by the HP staff and compare their responses to the workers response. If it is way off then the worker loses accuracy percentage or gets blocked from doing any more hits
2. The same hit (hub) is rated by different workers and majority rules... so if one workers rating is vastly different than the others the turker loses accuracy percentage and/or get blocked and/ or rejected.
I'm fairly certain that they use method one in the initial test that you have to pass to be qualified to rate hubs but I'm not sure what HP does for QA after qualification.
I don't think I'm giving away any trade secrets here as most Turkers know that these methods of QA are just a part of the program. They also know that if they screw up and get a job returned that it will mess up their percentages on all of MTurk (long story) and they might not be able to access the higher paying hits. Most won't risk it... especially not for a 5 cent hit.
I've written for Helium and people don't necessarily rate the articles up because of good quality and good writing. I quit writing there several years ago. All of that brating so your articles can be read is a waste of a writer's time and effort.
Plus, they keep your rights or at least they used to.
I hope deeply that 'ten words and two pictures' is an exaggeration:-(
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