Owlcation edits

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  1. Rupert Taylor profile image95
    Rupert Taylorposted 2 years ago

    In case you haven't noticed, there's a massive edit of Owlcation articles going on. For the most part, I can only quibble about changes made, although a few irritating issues have cropped up. I suggest checking the editing because some errors are finding their way into articles.

    One or two of my articles have been booted back to Discover. Once deemed “Only the highest quality articles are selected” for network sites they appear to have fallen out of favour despite being untouched since posting.

    Inconsistently, some English spellings – labour, neighbour, labelling, judgement, etc – have been changed to U.S. spelling and some have been left as is. Did I miss the memo announcing a HubPages change?

    In one article, “that” was incorrectly changed to “which” several times.

    There seems to be a compulsion to add a caption to every image even though the image speaks for itself and does not require a explanation of something that is self evident.

    Some good quality and relevant images and videos are deleted. Don't know why.

    The brief introductions to articles are now being given sub-titles.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image61
      TessSchlesingerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Most sites ask you to have a caption to photos for SEO purposes. America has the highest internet traffic (outside of India) so American English is often preferred. Unfortunately, I mix the two. I'm still predominantly a British English writer.

      1. divacratus profile image85
        divacratusposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for notifying us! I noticed a couple of my articles have been edited but I am yet to check them. Doing it right away.

    2. DrMark1961 profile image95
      DrMark1961posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      If someone does an image search in Google, and your image has a caption, it will show up and you might therefore have more traffic through that source. For instance, if your image is of a lazy rutabaga (no caption really necessary) and you add a caption that says "A lazy rutabaga reclining on the farm and having a beer" someone that searches for "lazy rutabaga having a beer" will see your picture on the search. They may or may not like it, but if they do and click on it your article will open and hopefully will read, allowing the ads to open and making money for you and Hubpages.
      Videos are usually deleted when they are no longer available. Images are changed per instructions of the wind, when it blows they are changed.
      More subititles leads to more hits on searches.
      No idea about the other changes. Pethelpful went through this earlier this year and HP does it so that the articles will have a 2022 date, theoretically leading to more traffic.
      Either that or it has to do with the wind. Not real sure.

    3. chef-de-jour profile image96
      chef-de-jourposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      It's good to see all this editing activity but without big changes in ads placement I fear these efforts in the long run will be in vain.

      I'm trying to get writers to email team@hubpages.com to ask for a new approach to the ads. Clear clean text must be the goal, with ads either side.

    4. Rochelle Frank profile image90
      Rochelle Frankposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Rupert,  in my opinion you are UNQuestionably the best , most interesting, witty, informative and professional writer on HubPages. I don't care if you write English or American spelling.  I am in awe of you and could only hope to be at least half as good.
      Cheers an unlimited Rutabegas, from me.

    5. HubPages profile imageSTAFF
      HubPagesposted 24 months agoin reply to this

      We are currently editing all of Owlcation for the very first time. This exciting project will ultimately lead to a cleaner site that performs better in SERP.

      Unfortunately, as part of this process, many articles that no longer get organic search traffic (fewer than ~10 monthly search views) or meet our site standards will be moved back to HubPages. With the high volume of content that our team needs to look at each day, we simply don't have the bandwidth to write in-depth feedback for every article.

      The list of items to consider that appears in the notification email (long walls of text, non-evergreen content, photos that are too small (<700px wide), and photos without captions) are some of the issues that we see most often, but they do not apply to every article that is moved off of a Network Site.

      If your article gets decent search traffic and doesn't have any of the issues listed in those bullets, the editorial policy for the Network Site in question is another good place to look for inspiration, as are the articles in our Help Center.

      1. EricDockett profile image97
        EricDockettposted 24 months agoin reply to this

        Hi HubPages. Respectfully:

        It is completely understandable that the editors wouldn't be able to write in-depth feedback for every article they dismiss. However, I think most of us are only asking for a quick note, not in-depth feedback.

        And we (at least I) are not talking about every article submitted to a niche site and rejected. Nor are we talking about editors giving feedback during review following the QAP period.

        We are specifically talking about articles you are moving off of the niche sites. These have to be a fairly small number of articles compared to the other categories.

        These articles are (or were) on the niche site because they were deemed high-quality by HubPages. Many were curated and moved without the author even submitting them. Some have been on the niche site since it launched.

        To kick them off the niche site without even taking a few seconds to jot a note as to why comes off as extremely disrespectful. I know that's not the intention, but surely you can imagine how many writers take it that way.

        The writers who created these articles are the ones I'd think you'd want to stick around. After all, they have proven they have what it takes to create the kind of articles you want for the niche sites.

        I'd think you'd want to encourage them so they do more good work, not discourage them by telling them your time is more valuable than theirs.

        I hope you reconsider this approach when it comes to removing articles from a niche site. It would be one small thing that could improve morale around here, and that is sorely needed.

        1. Misbah786 profile image84
          Misbah786posted 24 months agoin reply to this

          Eric, I completely agree with you!

        2. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
          PaulGoodman67posted 24 months agoin reply to this

          I appreciate the straightforward explanation.

          Under 10 views/month is pretty feeble.

          Moving out the low performers is a crude tool, but likely practical, given the relatively low numbers of editors.

          1. EricDockett profile image97
            EricDockettposted 24 months agoin reply to this

            Did you know under 10 views a month was the standard? I knew traffic was considered, but I don't think I ever heard exact numbers. Maybe I missed it.

            Even that bit of information relayed by HP is very helpful.

            1. Misbah786 profile image84
              Misbah786posted 24 months agoin reply to this

              Eric, I read a lot of forums every day. Many times, I feel as if we (writers) are simply complaining to HubPages. Of course, the current situation allows for a complaint, but whenever I read your responses in forums, I get the impression that you are giving constructive feedback. You do support and encourage HP as well as the writers to make the necessary improvements. I really appreciate your participation in the forums. smile

              Best wishes!

              1. EricDockett profile image97
                EricDockettposted 24 months agoin reply to this

                Thank you for saying that. I worry I sometimes come off a little too curmudgeonly. smile

                I truth is, I have invested  a lot of my life into HubPages over the past decade. I don't get involved in the social stuff much, but I care deeply about this community.

                HubPages gave me hope at a very dark time. I worked hard, had a little luck, and found some success. It literally changed my life.

                I want this place to stay strong not only so I can keep doing what I am doing, but so that the next generation of bumbling, doofy, writers like I was back in 2011 can experience something amazing too.

                1. tsmog profile image83
                  tsmogposted 24 months agoin reply to this

                  Amen to the last paragraph smile

                  1. Misbah786 profile image84
                    Misbah786posted 24 months agoin reply to this

                    Ameen! smile

                2. Misbah786 profile image84
                  Misbah786posted 24 months agoin reply to this

                  Thank you for sharing that, Eric.  I also want this place to live and flourish indefinitely. You've seen a golden period on HubPages and want the future generations to experience it as well, which sounds absolutely amazing. Thanks for everything you do! smile

                  1. Rupert Taylor profile image95
                    Rupert Taylorposted 24 months agoin reply to this

                    Thank you Eric for your comments with which I completely agree. I too never knew about the 10-per month rule, but looking at what's going on it seems often to be honoured more in the breach than the observance. Some poorly performing articles make it past the cut, others doing a little better don't. There is little consistency.

                    In my experience, a piece that hasn't done well can suddenly catch on and its views zoom, and there is no way of predicting which ones will behave that way.

                    Also, some of the requests from editors make no sense. I've been asked to update historical articles, which is tough to do when the events and people in the article are done and dusted with no new information on the topic turning up.

      2. chef-de-jour profile image96
        chef-de-jourposted 24 months agoin reply to this

        HP team thanks but this information needs to come out some days or weeks BEFORE you begin the editing. Take 10 - 15 minutes to detail what you need from us writers and you'll not only save a lot of people a lot of stress and speculation but your precious time spent editing will be cut.

  2. Rupert Taylor profile image95
    Rupert Taylorposted 2 years ago

    Thanks Tess and Dr. Mark. It's the SEO thing, my complete knowledge of which can be written on the edge of a postage stamp. It does seem that some of the edits made are arbitrary and capricious, and some seem to come from a mindset that says "I'm an editor, so I'd better edit."

    Point of correction - It's my understanding that the preferred beverage of rutabagas is slivovitz, the plum brandy that is common in their native Bohemia.

    1. janshares profile image92
      jansharesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      "I'm an editor, so I better edit."

    2. DrMark1961 profile image95
      DrMark1961posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Slivovitz is rarely searched for though. Try "lazy rutabaga having a corona in the shade" and the image is going to show up all the time. Imagine that caption during a pandemic!!!

  3. Misbah786 profile image84
    Misbah786posted 2 years ago

    I have a few articles on Owlcation, but haven't noticed any edits yet smile

    I recently updated a few of my articles that are published on different niche sites and discovered silly errors that the editors ignored when they moved the piece to a niche site. What's strange is that I never received an email from them informing me that they reviewed my piece after I edited it. They usually send an email saying, "Congratulations, your article meets the standard of our niche site."

  4. Jodah profile image90
    Jodahposted 2 years ago

    I received an email saying one of my articles was found suitable for moving to Owlcation but just needed a slight edit (which I did) They asked me to do that and submit it, but I had just submitted another article for a Network site so couldn’t.

    Also this article is the middle one in a series of three about Convicts in Australia, and all are currently on Discover. It makes no sense moving just the middle one and not the others. I wrote to the editors explaining this and asking could they review the other two as well but have heard nothing back.

    1. OldRoses profile image95
      OldRosesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Edited articles don't count against the "one article every two weeks" so go ahead and submit it.

      1. Jodah profile image90
        Jodahposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you, OldRoses. I wasn’t aware of that.

  5. ravirajan01 profile image95
    ravirajan01posted 2 years ago

    It is not only with Owlcation. The same edits were happening on my wanderwisdom articles some time back. I believe it is happening elsewhere also.

    1. profile image0
      Muna786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, similar things are happening with me.

      1. Misbah786 profile image84
        Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Mubeen Abid, you're new here, so what's going on with your articles is a different thing. We're discussing about niche sites.

  6. Eric Caunca profile image94
    Eric Cauncaposted 2 years ago

    I received two emails saying that two of my articles would be edited. I'm disappointed because those articles ate already moved on to the Owlcation. I expected they will edit articles that were in the queue. Second, one of those pieces hasn't been edited at all, not even a single punctuation mark. smile

  7. Joanne Hayle profile image96
    Joanne Hayleposted 2 years ago

    Hi all! Thanks to Rupert for raising this issue. Of the several articles/hubs edited yesterday/today some have been left with the wrong author bio and I've noted an interesting couple of bloopers e.g. viscounts are now discounts in the main text. Editors have to edit, I get that but as a writer in Britain using English the changes to American English mean at the moment I am American in about 40 and the other 90 are still English. Do I have an identity crisis?!

    1. Rupert Taylor profile image95
      Rupert Taylorposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Joanne - There's so much inconsistency. My understanding has always been that English spelling, British spelling, and the hybrid Canadian spelling, which is what I use, are equally acceptable on HubPages.

      I did a piece on British aristocratic titles. I'll have to go check to see if my earls have not become ears and my viscounts have not been discounted.

      I had the phrase "accorded the title of . . ." Changed to "afforded the title of . . ." There's some debate about which is correct, but why make an 
      unnecessary change in the first place? I'll go back in and change it to "bestowed upon" and see what happens.

      If you find errors of this nature you can always go back in and correct the mistakes. Just a bit time consuming and annoying.

      1. Joanne Hayle profile image96
        Joanne Hayleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I've been through and changed the bloopers. Fun, huh!

  8. Gloriousconfusion profile image92
    Gloriousconfusionposted 2 years ago

    When people suggest posting a caption on photographs increases SEO, do you mean the heading at the top of the photo, or the bit at the bottom which has a smaller paragraph typeface?

    My pictures are sometimes edited by the editors so that the main heading at the top is removed, whereas, on the whole, I prefer to have proper main headings.

    1. DrMark1961 profile image95
      DrMark1961posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      It is the writing at the bottom of the photo. If you choose to only label the photos on the top they will not show up in search engines, as far as I know.

  9. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago

    I agree with other commenters that when it comes to writing for publication on the internet, SEO really can't just be ignored.

    HP is a commercial project and many of the writers here, certainly me, are motivated in some part by the earnings. This means taking into account the dynamic between search engines and the construct of articles, which affects the SERPs.

    The recent algorithm changes by Google, which affected HP negatively, demand a response and I'm cheered that HP is taking action.

    I was born and raised in the UK, but I always *try* to write in American English on here, as US readers dramatically outnumber ones from other English-speaking countries.

    Editors do make mistakes sometimes, of course, I've experienced that myself and it's frustrating, but it's really not wise to disregard SEO considerations. The brutal truth is that SEO can affect the entire site, not just individual articles.

    1. chef-de-jour profile image96
      chef-de-jourposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I'm happy to see lots of editing - I've over 400 articles on Owlcation! - despite the occasional blunder it's really a positive move from HP but without a fundamental shift in the ads regime earnings are not going to rise, plain and simple.
      The text must be given priority. The abominable ads must be kept out to the sides leaving a clear clean read. This makes good business sense.

      I'm trying to get writers to email team@hubpages.com to ask for a new approach to ads placement.

  10. EricDockett profile image97
    EricDockettposted 2 years ago

    For those who don't understand why editors mess with headers, here is a quick read that might help you out:

    https://www.searchenginejournal.com/on- … ader-tags/

    To better understand the captions of our images, here is another reference. Note that on HubPages the caption and the image alt tag are one and the same.


    I really think it would benefit anyone who has an interest in writing on this platform to take a few minutes every week to learn about SEO. It will help your articles rank better, or at the very least you will understand why the editors do some of the things they do.

    And I promise it isn't painful.

    1. Misbah786 profile image84
      Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Eric, thank you for sharing that.
      According to the first link you shared, the use of H4, H5, and H6 tags is to provide additional structure within those subsections. Do these tags exist in our HP tools? No, I believe. Perhaps this is what causes confusion when we use H3 headings and editors alter them. Maybe HP should provide us with a new toolbar in editing mode.  Please correct me if I am wrong. smile

      1. EricDockett profile image97
        EricDockettposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I'm not sure why the confusion should be. You are right that they provide structure. The lack of H4-H6 doesn't change that.




        and so on.

        If the editor feels they are out of order, they may change them.

        1. Misbah786 profile image84
          Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Editors have altered my H3 headings to APA format several times. If I use H3 as a substitute for H4. Is it supposed to be written in APA format?

          1. EricDockett profile image97
            EricDockettposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Not sure what you mean. What did they change your H3s to?

            It doesn't make sense to use H3s in place of H4s. I do see what you mean now about adding H4-H6 headers to the editor tool and how it would be helpful to you.

            1. Misbah786 profile image84
              Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

              I was always using "sentence case" format in H3 headers  but when the editors edited a few of my articles, they changed the H3 headings from "sentence case" to "title case."

              1. EricDockett profile image97
                EricDockettposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                Yeah, you'd have to ask the editor what they were thinking on that one. I thought you meant they changed your H3s to something else.

                1. Misbah786 profile image84
                  Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  Yes, I will try to send them an email soon. I never asked them before because I thought they wanted the H3 headings to be written in title case. Thanks for your time and advice. I appreciate it very much! smile
                  Blessings to you!!

  11. Rochelle Frank profile image90
    Rochelle Frankposted 2 years ago

    And I don't care if I spelled the vegertable wrong.

  12. Rupert Taylor profile image95
    Rupert Taylorposted 2 years ago

    Oh Dear. Totally undeserved, but thanks anyway Rochelle.

  13. Donna-Rayne profile image92
    Donna-Rayneposted 2 years ago

    I noticed a few on my articles and edited my article again and made changes. I don't know if it will get my article moved back to Discover or not.

  14. RGraf profile image89
    RGrafposted 24 months ago

    The pieces were acceptable months ago and now aren't. It's very confusing. There are only vague comments on why they removed it so I don't know exactly what needs changing. One of the comments didn't seem to apply to the article at all. The comments seemed to be a cut paste option with no direction.

    Thinking for the first time in over 10 years to leave HubPages. I've had articles removed from the sites without explanation. Changes have been made to articles that took my entire style and voice away. I just feel that there is no working with us but just telling us. Even had an article removed entirely because the picture of a person was found offensive by some. Instead of asking me to change the image, it was just removed.

  15. Rupert Taylor profile image95
    Rupert Taylorposted 24 months ago

    I hear you Rebecca. I just had an article kicked off a network site and the following reasons were cited:

    long walls of text
    non-evergreen content
    photos that are too small (<700px wide)
    photos without captions

    None of these apply to this particular article. Editors, who are no doubt pressed for time, simply pluck a few comments out of a suite of comments whether they apply or not.

    I have come to the conclusion that such rejections are the capricious and arbitrary decisions of individuals who are under instructions to prune a quota of articles.

    The solution, if you want to put in the work, is to delete the article and let in lie dormant for a month or so. Give it a few tweaks and re-submit it. I've done this a few times and have found articles promoted from HubPages to network sites.

    It's a bit of a game and a lottery involving whichever editor sees your offerings.

    1. RGraf profile image89
      RGrafposted 24 months agoin reply to this

      Those were my comments. I had nearly a dozen removed for those reasons over a few days.

  16. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 24 months ago

    Captions are also used as alt text, required for compliance with the ADA (used by sight-impaired people)

  17. Jodah profile image90
    Jodahposted 24 months ago

    It is great to know that 10 views a month is the standard they work on .. we were always just told it was dependent on traffic..not how much. Little things like that a helpful (even if not consistent.)

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image61
      TessSchlesingerposted 24 months agoin reply to this

      I have to sayt hat I find 10 views per month appalling.

  18. eugbug profile image94
    eugbugposted 24 months ago

    I have a poem on Letterpile that only has 158 views in total, and one view since January and it hasn't been removed. Maybe the removal threshold depends on site? Previously, before the network sites were created, some  of my articles were unfeatured for even lower rates of traffic.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image61
      TessSchlesingerposted 24 months agoin reply to this

      I had one story that was on one of the sites that received about 3000 views per month. It was at the top of Google. The editors made some changes. It dropped to third place. When I put it back together again, I was threatened with removal. I told them that was fine, removed it from Hubpages and put it on Medium (without the paywall.

      Initially, I sold on it, then it vanished. I am about to put it on Pinterest.


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