The Unofficial Rules for HubPages
I'm just a loyal and active Hubber, who probably pays more attention than most to what's being said on the forums. The evidence of this can be seen on my HubScore hub.
I say that this hub is unofficial, because I am not in the employ of HubPages. And while it does contain some solid references to the FAQ, it is my intention to shed further light with a choice selection of snippets and statements made by HubPage staff in the forum.
I've collated this information and will continue to add to it, to make it easier for Hubbers, new and old alike, to come up to speed about what is and isn't allowed at HubPages.
Anything written in italics is either a bit of editing on my part to help with the flow of information, personal opinion or wild speculation.
Table of Contents
These rules refer to the linking of hubs to outside sources...
- You must have no more than 1-2 links to any one domain on a page of original content (tinyurl and other cloakers are considered wildcards)
- You may NOT add links to sites or offers you are promoting on copied, non-original Web content (i.e. if the copy exists already on the Web, you can't reuse it to promote your sites)
- You can NOT add links to sites irrelevant to the Hub's topic
- You can not include a short teaser and then "click here to learn more" - your Hub must address the topic fully by itself
- You should consider adding more original content, or legitimate links to other online resources that complement this Hub's topic
Source: This is emailed to you if your hub/s has been flagged for being over-promotional.
Just to clarify, if you want to promote other sites, then the content must be unique. You can not drop links to sites or affiliate offers on Hubs with copied content (even if it's your own).
You can publish Hubs with unoriginal content if there are no links out from it... we will not reward them as highly as we do original-content Hubs in terms of HubScore (i.e. they will incur a HubScore penalty).
When we see a pattern of infractions, we flag an entire account, since it is impractical to go through each hub (especially when there are hundreds) to check whether each and every one meets our standards. You can easily remedy the situation by going through and revising the offenders and resubmitting the innocent hubs, at which point we can see your willingness to comply and will clear your account. Until that time, every new hub you submit will come through moderation before it is published.
Remember: only 2 links to a single domain per hub, and only on original content. Many people seem to get caught up in posting duplicate content with outbound commercial links, which we still consider overly promotional.
Just to clarify:
- you can publish any content you have the rights to, provided you don't use it to link to sites you are trying to promote (even if it is NOT unique); i.e. you can post a Wikipedia article with the original links to Wikipedia and proper attribution, but you can not add additional links to affiliate offers, your blog, etc.
- you can publish *unique* content with up to 2 links to any one domain; i.e. if you want to put in links to affiliate offers, blogs, sites that you want to promote, then the content must be exclusive to HubPages.
Clickbank is not considered a "bad neighborhood" - i.e. Hubbers can link to them.Sometimes some authors get a little too aggressive and put in too many links to clickbank (or other affiliate) offers; that's Overly Promotional and not allowed, naturally.Source
Rules on Flagging
Rules on Flagging
Flagging can not downgrade a Hub or apply a penalty to it.
Flagging simply tells us to take a look at it for a possible violation (in the case of adult, gambling, spam, low-quality, etc. flags) or it tells our automated, computerized duplicate checker to check for duplicates. It can not force an outcome. There are plenty of times we don't agree with a flagger, or the computerized system doesn't find duplicates, in which case nothing happens to the Hub at all.
My hub was flagged as substandard, what does that mean?
Substandard simply means that the quality of the hub does not live up to HubPages standards. Below are some common reasons that a hub may be flagged as substandard:
- "Test" or otherwise unfinished hubs
- Very little content
- Unoriginal or purely personal content
- Contributes nothing new in a heavily saturated topic
- Many broken links or links to low quality sites
- Links with deceptive or inaccurate link text
- Missing videos
Flagging a hub won't get it hit with a HubScore penalty or see it bumped to unpublished status. It will have it queued for the filter to check it out.
Rules on Duplicate Content
My hub has been flagged for duplicate content, what does that mean?
The hub seems to have text that is either copied from or to a large number of other sites, and has incurred a HubScore penalty as a result.
If your Hub is truly original or simply quotes another Web page in a reasonable manner, please request a review of the hub by clicking on "learn more" at the top of the hub. An exception is typically granted only when quoting is done to a minimum, or some commonly-used, public domain, or historical phrases have triggered the duplicate content detector. If your hub has been certified as original by the administrator it will appear at the top of the hub. Once certified as original no HubScore penalty will be applied.
Duplicates are allowed; they are just penalized in terms of HubScore.
Duplicates simply means that we find the same tract of text on the Web. You could be entirely within your rights to reprint the material at HubPages. However, it will incur a HubScore penalty. That's because we believe content that is unique (i.e. you haven't either copied from another site, or reprinted across a bunch of other sites) should be rewarded with a higher relative HubScore. (Duplicates are not allowed at all for Flagship Hubs, of course - we're paying for those!)
Just to clarify:- you can publish any content you have the rights to, provided you don't use it to link to sites you are trying to promote (even if it is NOT unique); i.e. you can post a Wikipedia article with the original links to Wikipedia and proper attribution, but you can not add additional links to affiliate offers, your blog, etc. - you can publish *unique* content with up to 2 links to any one domain; i.e. if you want to put in links to affiliate offers, blogs, sites that you want to promote, then the content must be exclusive to HubPages.
Rules on Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism
Plagiarized (i.e. unauthorized copied) content is not allowed, but the only person who can report it is the content owner.
We must comply with US DMCA law and have a procedure where a content owner can ask us to take down plagiarized content. That procedure is laid out here.
Fortunately, there is a U.S. law that deals exactly with this sort of thing, and we follow it. It makes our job simpler.
You should let the copyright owner know so that they can file a DMCA take down notice if they so choose. It's neither practical nor possible for us to make a determination on every single piece of content that flows through HubPages. If we even tried, we would immediately become liable for all infringements that we didn't catch. That's just the way the law works.
Copyright infringement is another matter and we will remove content that is in violation, as long as the copyright holder follows the proper reporting procedure.
We become aware of a copyright violation when the copyright holder informs us of it. There is no way for a 3rd party to determine definitively whether something that happens to be copied actually violates a copyright. That's why we suggest that you contact the suspected rights holder directly, so that they can contact us if they so choose.
Recommended reading: Duplication vs Plagiarism
Rules on Content
Rules on Substandard Content
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.Source
Rules on Adult Content
I want to write about adult topics, what is allowed?Adult content is not allowed. Below are some examples of prohibited adult content. This should not be interpreted as exhaustive list of what is prohibited. If you are unsure if your content is allowed, please contact us for a clarification before publishing your hub.The following are not allowed:
- pornographic images
- links to adult or pornographic sites
- discussion or promotion of sexual aids or toys
- detailed descriptions of sexual acts or practices
- excessive profanity
Rules on Gambling
Am I allowed to create hubs about gambling?Hubs that promote or link to sites that offer or promote gambling for money are not allowed. Discussions of gambling rules, strategies, or events are generally all right. If you are unsure if your gambling related hub is ok, please contact us for clarification before publishing your hub.Source
Rules on what's Overly Promotional
My hub was flagged as overly promotional, what does that mean?
Purely promotional offers and Hubs designed only to promote other sites or businesses are not allowed. In particular, the following actions are likely to get your hubs flagged:
- linking repeatedly to the same site within a hub or across many hubs
- including links to a page that contains largely the same content as your hub
- linking to products or services unrelated to a Hub's content
Find out more about Overly Promotional in a hub by our Moderator Maddie.
Rules on Tagging
My hub was flagged as deceptively tagged or titled, what does that mean?
The title and tags of your hub must accurately represent the contents of the hub.
The standard a chosen tag must live up to is "Would a fan of this tag be interested in your hub?" -- if not, do use that tag. In particular, tagging your hub with a lot of very general tags, such as 'travel', 'entertainment', 'food', and 'music' when your hub is not specifically about these topics is liable to get you into trouble.
Rules on Language
Why don't you allow hubs in languages other than English?At our current size we don't have the resources to properly create or administer a HubPages site in other languages. We hope to be able to offer our services in other languages in the future.Source
Rules on what is considered to be Commercial
What does commercial mean?
Commercial hubs are required to have an ad level setting of High. Your hub is considered to be commercial if it meets any of these conditions.
- it is monetized through a non-hubpages affiliate mechanism
- it contains links to other commercial sites
- it promotes a for profit business, especially a business that you have an interest in
One of the bullets in the FAQ description is "monetized through a non-HubPages affiliate mechanism." Amazon or EBay capsules are HubPages-sanctioned affiliate programs, and do not affect the "commercial" status of your hub, unless the hub meets one of the other conditions for a commercial classification.
Short answer: Yes. If a hub has no outbound links, and is not advertising a business or service, it can be classified non-commercial, even with EBay or Amazon capsules.
Rules on the Forum
Prohibited Use of Forums
We take these two points very seriously. Be aware that you may be banned from HubPages if you are found in violation.
- Promoting other sites: This includes linking to any site that you have a vested interest in promoting, especially using affiliate links. To be on safe side we recommend that you establish a presence in the HubPages community before you post any links in the forum.
- Making Personal Attacks: debate and disagreements on points of substance are all right, but personal attacks, petty bickering, and thread hijacking will be dealt with swiftly.
- Cross Posting: Please do not post the same message to more than one forum.
Linking to your own hubs when they have nothing to do with the topic of the thread is also generally frowned upon and sooner or later those links are snipped (removed) by the Moderator.
Also avoid starting a thread solely to promote your own hub/s. Even if you think you're being clever by jumping on the opportunity of the subject matter being in the news or a much talked about topic. People see through it very quickly.
The only sub-forum in the forums where you can start a thread solely about your hub is the Extreme Hub Makeover sub-forum. This is to get critique, tips or advice to help with your hub making skills.
The only other time you should ever link to your hub is if someone else has started a thread and they have a question or a problem and you feel you have the answer in your hub. If the answer is no longer than a sentence or two, I'd avoid putting in the link. Just type it out. But if it's detailed response, or a series of steps involved then it's fine to avoid posting duplicate content and you can post a link.
Rules on Spamming
- At HubPages I'd recommend not posting your hub URL's in comment capsules of other hubbers. Unless the hubber has indicated that they want you to. And short of such an invitation the only other reason you'd post a link is if- IF your hub is directly related to their topic. But even then it would be a gamble. Best to avoid it completely. If your feedback is intelligent it may be enough for the Hub Author and also other hub readers to click through to your profile page.
- Don't use the Contact Me form as a way to contact hub authors en masse and promote your hubs. Unsolicited Bulk Email = Spam.
- If you're the member of other forums be wise and wary about how you post links to your hubs. I'd only do so if you are a long standing and active member.
- When using social bookmarking sites refrain from using hub trackers. And don't use them solely as a means to post your own hubs. Or in fact use it with the same domain name far too many times. Otherwise an account could be flagged for the obvious. Variety is the key.