Are we "penalized" if we don't follow the Hub Pages style tips? Are they requirements in disguise? If so, I don't think that's fair in all cases because it "dictates" how we should be writing our content. Also, in order to use an authentic photo, sometimes the photo might be grainy when blown up to 1/2 width (now that 1/4 width is not an option): again, not fair to penalize us for writing an honest article with an appropriate photo.
Ex: Is my hubscore lowered if I don't use their default copyright statement but instead use the one recommended by my lawyer? (If yes, that's totally absurd because it's our content and we should be allowed to protect it--or not--as we see fit.)
I agree and have a problem like you do and they should so it more fair. So like newbie's have a chance, or have systems...set up. Great post.
On a forum post three weeks ago, HP staff member Matthew Meyer said:
"The key thing to remember is that the style tips are not requirements, but suggestions."
When the Editor's Choice program was announced on August 8th, it was said that compliance with the new style tips would be a consideration. However, I have seen many EC Hubs that violate the style tips.
Hubscores are automated and I very much doubt that they take those factors into account or my score would suck.
I'm not using the HP copyright statement, because I don't like the fact that it gives my real name. So I don't think my hubberscore is penalized because of it.
About the style tips, I don't know for certain, but I doubt it. I guess you might be "penalized" by not having your hub chosen as EC, but whether that is a penalty or an advantage is debatable.
Most of the time, I only see style tips when still writing my hub. Things like a lack of summary. This could potentially affect your traffic, but it wouldn't be HP penalizing you directly.
I do agree with HP about grainy photos, I think they are off putting to readers. The size required is really not that big, and if you don't have a digital camera or a modern cell phone, there is always pixabay and creative commons to find photos on. Really this shouldn't be a problem.
aa lite's post is pretty spot on. Style Tips have no effect on Hubber Score. They are recommendations that -- if widely adopted -- will provide readers with a more consistent and predictable design experience from Hub to Hub. We do take them into account when making EC decisions for that same reason. Hubs with more than one style tip are unlikely to be chosen as EC, and some tips (e.g., photo quality) have more weight than others (e.g., dividers) in the evaluation process.
Thanks for confirming, Marina! Good to know about having more than one style tip prohibiting a hub from being chosen as an EC--that's really helpful and something I will shoot for.
:-( Regarding photo quality: I have several articles, both published and in-the-works, with historical photos that are black-and-white and appear grainy; nothing I can do about that. Also, I disagree with the default copyright statement (per my lawyer's advice). So, some/most of my hubs are automatically knocked out of the running for EC just based on this.
I often get the "grainy photo" tip even when the only photos in the article are 6.1 mp and don't appear grainy at all to the naked eye; that one baffles me. I'll file a bug on that once I find some specific examples for y'all to see, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
Thanks again, Marina and everyone!
No problem, happy to help! I do want to clarify that the presence of style tips does not prohibit a Hub from being chosen. Rather, it's one of several criteria a HubPages editor considers when making a decision. A remarkable Hub (unique topic, thorough, beautiful, really well done, etc) with 1-2 style tips may still be chosen. On the contrary, a borderline Hub with 1-2 style tips is unlikely to be chosen. Think of it this way: style tips *might* not hurt your Hub's chances at becoming EC, but they definitely do not help.
Hope that helps clarify how the selection process works a bit!
It does! Thanks again, Marina Lazarevic!
I continuously check my Hubs - not all at once - to see if they have any 'tips' or comments from the staff. As one had told me that I might have a blurry photo, but not which photo. So I looked through all and selected the one which I thought might be the blurriest. I then found another to replace it and the message disappeared!
As for using photos, I try their list of sites first and if I can not find any I go elsewhere. If I find one I first scan their terms, copyrights, etc., for photos before I copy it.
Thanks, Examiner-1! I actually shoot all my own photos unless I'm desperate or unless there is a historical photo/map that I need to include, such as a photo of Lincoln in one of my hubs. The photo is significant to the article, but I can't find any non-"grainy" photos of him and I doubt any exist. Photos I take myself are all 8.1 mp or higher, which shouldn't be too blurry for their standards, yet some apparently are because I've received that message on several articles now and just not bothered to follow up on why. (They obviously look fine to the naked eye, both on my iPhone and 17" monitor.)
I've been completely ignoring those "style tips" and so far (fingers crossed) I haven't suffered any Ill effects.
I think the suggestions are just that, suggestions. In most cases they do help your score but not in all. You can certainly pick and choose. After two years I didn't even know there was an official copyright statement! Shows what I know
The suggested copyright statement was just invented on August 6th. It is part of the Style Tips announced on the HP blog on that date.
Oops, guess I missed that one. Thank you for the info.
There is too much change for us to keep up with it all--don't feel bad!
I just try to focus on writing quality articles and minding my own business (for the most part). And I hope that I can catch most of the changes that HP makes in time to respond and re-work all my existing articles to meet the new standards. :-)
I'm so glad you asked, Laura. "Style Tips" can be helpful but it's another feature or addition I find to be confusing. I was doing some editing earlier and what it told me to do was contradicting so I ignored it after several attempts to conform. It had to do with subtitles and lowercase/capitalization. I have, however, conformed to the standard copyright feature but not entirely comfy with it.
You are welcome. I meant to mention that I go to Wikimedia Commons first and usually find all, or most, of my photos there. :-)
Wikimedia Commons is also my go-to place for can't-take-myself photos! :-) Love it! Cheers!
Just go to Google image search - go to advanced search - select "free to use, share or modify, even commercially" and then click on "advanced search"
Don't forget to visit the source and check for license terms.
Nearly every time I need a photo that I can't take myself, I find something good on Wikimedia Commons. I highly recommend it. Government sites are other good options, since anything government is also public domain. As for style tips, I'm picky about my hub quality, so I always look to see if a tip will improve my hub. Usually it does and I'm happy to make the change. As for copyright, HP says all articles are automatically copyrighted, so I haven't been including anything in my hubs. Nearly all my hubs are rated in the 90's. (In case this comment is too positive, I might say that I hate how big the Amazon ads are now!) ;-\
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