Introducing: The HubPro Beta

Over the last three years, we have worked tirelessly as a community to improve the reader experience on HubPages and raise our standards of quality. Hubbers have worked to better their Hubs, and we have implemented programs and features like the Quality Assessment Process, Boot Camp, Style Tips, and the Apprenticeship Program. We can see from quality metrics that your efforts and these programs are making a difference in reader satisfaction. But—we can still do more!

We measure reader satisfaction by asking random search visitors: “How good is this article?”. They rate their experience on a 1-10 scale and we aggregate that data over time.

We measure reader satisfaction by asking random search visitors: “How good is this article?”. They rate their experience on a 1-10 scale and we aggregate that data over time.

The next step in our quest to satisfy readers is a new professional (and free!) editing service that we are calling HubPro! In April, we piloted a version of this service and worked with a small number of Hubbers to learn more about how we could successfully bring editing to HubPages. In addition to collecting invaluable feedback from our pilot testers, we’ve been fine tuning the tools and process, and we are so excited to open up HubPro to more members of the community. We have hired an extremely talented team of editors, trained specifically for HubPages, that will partner with you to take your Hubs to the next level.

Why are we Editing Hubs?

We want HubPages to be the premier place for readers to find information on a variety of topics. Plus, most professional writers benefit from editors, and we want to extend this service to the writers on HubPages. Additionally, many Hubbers have asked for an editing feature, and this is our first step.

The Importance of Editing Hubs

In order to compete and succeed in the current competitive landscape, most Hubs need improvements. Even the most successful Hubs can benefit from revisions, and we recognize that not all Hubbers have the time to frequently edit. There is a common misconception: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This does not apply to online content and is risky advice. In fact, Hubs that are receiving traffic are the ones that should be improved and updated more frequently to maintain their traffic. Traffic will fluctuate whether Hubs are edited or not, but we strongly believe that improving and updating Hubs will have a positive effect on reader satisfaction, which is highly correlated to the amount of traffic a Hub receives.

What did we Learn From the Pilot?

Edited Hubs in the pilot program have had a positive effect on reader satisfaction and significant increases in traffic—the median edited Hub has seen search traffic grow around 17%! In the short run there are clear gains, but more importantly, we are investing for the long term to boost the quality of Hubs, improve the credibility of our brand, and ensure the health of the site.

How HubPro Will Work

Ultimately, we want to provide the best experience for as many readers as possible, and starting with Hubs that receive the highest traffic is a logical first step in achieving this goal. In the beta, our editors will only be editing a small percentage of Hubs, but this is just the beginning. We have big plans for editing in the future— stay tuned!

HubPages Editors will:

  • Proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Update the information in Hubs
  • Improve layout and structure
  • Add supplementary capsules
  • Obtain high-quality media assets (illustrations)
  • Remove unrelated links and products
  • Fact check
  • Communicate with Hubbers about the changes made to their Hubs
  • Provide a document with the before and after changes highlighted

If you are one of the lucky few Hubbers selected to participate in the HubPro beta, you will receive an email with more information. Our hope is that all Hubbers will participate in the program, however, if you would like to opt out, go to My Account > Profile. If you choose to opt out, you cannot opt back in to the program for 60 days. We will begin editing Hubs in one week, and we will be publishing a FAQ soon with more detailed information.

Editing Hubs is a huge strategic move for HubPages, blending user-generated content with professional editing services. Thank you for being a part of this monumental effort!

UPDATE (8.4.2014): We have published a FAQ and it is available here.

45 thoughts on “Introducing: The HubPro Beta

  1. I hope the HubPro editors focus on all the low-quality broken English hubs written by non-native speakers from India, dubious “cancer cure” hubs and rambling religious screeds that do nothing but offend and foment flame wars in their comments sections.

    But something tells me the main target will be Jane Doe and Joe Shmoe and their hubs on how to make taco salad and fix a washing machine belt. Some editor will change Jane’s ingredients because he doesn’t think Jane’s recipe is very good, and he’ll remove one of Joe’s cellphone photos because it’s a tad too grainy, even though it’s the only photo Joe could get and is crucial to explaining the repair.

    Jokes, humor, pop culture references, word play — that will all get edited out by editors who are just skimming our hubs to meet a quota instead of reading them carefully to find actual errors.

    I suspect the editors will make a lot of needless corrections to articles that don’t need tweaking in order to justify getting paid, meanwhile shirking the hard labor of cleaning up the really truly atrocious hubs that go unchecked on this site. Tell me I’m wrong.

    • WoW ? Mello out 😎 or simmer down- it is supposed to be fun , no 1 is wrong (lol notice the “1” nstead of “one” funny? not funny? 😎 sorry just kidding)
      As I was muttering on about; I guess if the owners of a site wanna make the service they provide a bit more welcoming, enjoyable & all n all just a better experience for visitors of said site by means of an ~insert special field~ quality control/standards mgmt , then that’s their choice & a wise one at that.
      I mean at least the powers of the hubpages that be have not started booting those of us not equipped with a degree in ~insert nitch field. Then their is the free advice coming from an impartial perspective, constructive input is a good thing- I think at least…..However I can use the help,and I am totally NATIVE.
      I could go on but, in-case I missed the punch line or your post, or it was meant as humorous?
      Happy Hubbing & Thank You
      ps I apologize if I did miss the message- I am short, so plenty goes right on over my head- like all the dang time.
      😎
      Again Thank You …
      SPRICKITA

    • I’m a little late to this conversation, but am very interested in what Hubpro can do for my best Hub. The traffic on it is amazing, but it is getting ad earnings and not much else. I have been collecting images to re-edit it and will do so eventually, but honestly, I do not have time at the moment. Thank you for your consideration! =)

  2. Having had the honour of being an early part of this exciting new Hub Pages programme and now being able to speak from experience, I can strongly recommend this new initiative to all Hubbers. From my personal experience of writing online, the biggest mistake writers make of editors is becoming defensive and assuming that all criticism means bad comments or press. Nothing could be further from the truth. Constructive criticism is essential for any writer to take on board and that is what HP is offering, to the benefit of all concerned. Anyone who thinks they know it all – in any walk of life – is the next one to slide down the slippery slope to obscurity… Editorial comments of the right standard don’t make you a bad writer – they’re simply designed to help you become a better one.

  3. I have a feeling that this is going be controversial.

    People have a strong sense of ownership of their hubs. There will be anxiety that the identity of the hub, the individual voice, will be lost.

    However, you can sure count me in! This is just a great idea, it seems to me. I’d be happy to have a professional editing job done on my hubs and see their traffic improve. Why wouldn’t I?

    Fantastic work, team! I for one am really looking forward to this rolling out.

    🙂

  4. AS has been mentioned in the forum post – certain niche topics come with their own jargon or vernacular. So I’d be very concerned about someone messing with my text regarding the topic I focus on here at Hubpages.

    If you folks feel you can improve the layout of something of mine – then I’d probably trust you all to know what you are doing. I think the communication with the author about all of this is going to be the most important thing.

  5. Wow…..It is a really great initiative the staff of Hubpages have implemented…..Hats off……anyway, I had a question though. Will the editors check hubs for plagiarism??

    Keep it up 🙂

  6. Hi HP Team

    It is a wonderful decision and I welcome this venture with great pleasure. It will improve the quality of hubs and also help to correct our mistakes and learn a lot new things. I am sure the hubbers will be benefited through this process. So Congrats and keep on working your strategies.

  7. Dear HP,
    As a journalist major, I realized that one way you can improve your writing is by constant, creative critique. I’m in!! I’d love to see what you do with my hubs.
    Carla J Behr

  8. I more or less agree with each of the above comments. I more or less want to sign on to each question, also.

    I think the only thing that REALLY matters is: Are the edits mandatory? Or, does the Hub’s author have the last word?

    If I have the last word, I don’t see any downside.

  9. I have a few questions.

    Will any of this editing process end up on MTurk?

    I like the idea of partnering with a HubPro editor, but it sounds like they will make changes and then inform us what they did. Is that correct?

    I assume I can still do anything I want to my Hub– even after a HubPro edit. Is that correct?

    Is an edited hub still completely mine– I could unpublish it and do anything I want with it– even if extensive changes were made?

    Thanks,
    David Hunt

  10. Wow! This is just phenomenal. I would love to work with a HubPages editor. I think it would do a lot to help me perk up other hubs and write better ones in the future. Amazing idea!

  11. In theory I can see merit in this, but I hope the promise of editing doesn’t encourage writers to be lazy … or lazy writers to join hp expecting staff to do the work for them.

    My suggestion would be to reward the active long-standing hubbers first. There’s a few struggling hubbers I’d love to see get some personal assistance from editors. Will there be criteria like length of membership and number of existing hubs?

    I’m also wondering what happens if a hub is edited and the hubber doesn’t like it? Will there be a ‘revert to previous version’ button they can press – even six months after the changes are published?

    I would be interested in seeing the suggestions of an editor, although I find it hard to imagine my most successful hubs becoming any more successful. So … would it be possible to exclude or include hubs specifically on the edit page – instead of an entire account?

    Good luck with this initiative, hp. It will be interesting to see how it works out. 🙂

  12. I believe this editing is a great idea. I have been suggesting this and have even volunteered to be an editor or help with a training program a few times and have had no reply to those offers. Will I know when one of my hubs has been edited and who did the editing? What if I do not agree with the editor? If you need more help with editing, again I offer my services.

  13. I hope we are notified BEFORE changes are made to our hubs. Editing is great, but in the professional editing world, the writer is always advised of needed or recommended changes. It is then up to the writer to implement or reject.

    I certainly hope we are afforded the same respect. I would hate to think changes will be made to our hubs and be advised after the fact. That’s not how it works.

  14. I was part of the pilot program and I can say that the editing really boosted my hubs’ scores. I took note of what the editors normally edited out (smileys, jokes, ‘LOL’) and tried to edit my other hubs accordingly.

    I’m sure this will benefit a lot of hubbers out there, although, yeah, some people might be resistant and even offended if their hubs get edited beyond recognition. We should note though that we can always communicate with out editors regarding the revisions made and explain to them why we think some of the revisions aren’t necessary, or if we have a better idea at revising the hubs. My editor was really nice and friendly, and they provided me with a before and after look at my hub so I can compare and check for differences. Overall I think this will only work if people are more open to working with others (i.e. professional editors) in bettering their hubs.

  15. It is important to communicate with hubbers before changing any facts and sources, especially when the topic of the hub is beyond the knowledge and/or comprehension of the editor.

  16. I must say that I agree with Sauna Bowling completely. “Editing” is a good thing, I’m sure. However, OUR work is our work…….and having some stranger adding, deleting, correcting or in general altering it w/o our prior knowledge, leaves a really bad feeling with me.
    If the plan is for these chosen “experts” to check our work and then inform us of suggested improvements/changes, that we then attend to ourselves…..that is acceptable. Otherwise, I see an “Opt-out” coming on. Seriously. Thank you.

  17. In the Apprenticeship Program, in which I was unable to participate, the writer had to place his name on a waiting list and then was contacted as to whether or not he was accepted. The HubPro Beta program should be no different. because editors cannot assume that everyone wants his hub edited.

    As the HP Team may be aware, I have been giving free editing advice during the two-plus years I have been here. I basically offered punctuation, spelling, and grammar changes in accordance with my knowledge of American English and awareness of the differences in British spellings. In most cases, my suggestions were met with positive feedback; however, not everyone wants this, and to just pick hubs for editing by beginning with those with the greatest traffic seems a little biased or “upside down.” Just as a chain is no better than its weakest link, HP is no better than its worst article, so it would be most efficacious to start with the poorest hubs, and the writer should have expressed interest in having his hub edited; otherwise, HP risks a lack of cooperation.

    Has HP thought about having writers recommend hubs for HPPro Beta, similar to voting for Editor’s Choice? If not, think about it.

    In general, HPPro Beta is a good idea, but don’t let time get wasted on disinterested or uncooperative hubbers.

    Blessings!

    • Hi Rae,

      Your voice as a writer is still extremely important to us. You have the option to opt out of the program, or if you choose to participate, you can communicate closely with your editor about the changes. Once the editing is complete, you will also have the chance to revert any changes you are unhappy with.

  18. I have participated.

    I disagreed with my editor about something, and she was cool about it. I did have to be very specific and explain my perspective and reasoning. I didn’t feel offended about the changes, but I did think her changes were making my hubs seem less professional. She listened.

    She has worked extra hard on a few of my hubs to make them look excellent. She also gave me suggestions that were creative. I think it’s important to have the same editor looking at your hubs for the sake of continuity. Sure, there are a few minor changes that she made that I will eventually change back, but most of what she had done will likely stay.

    It’s important for you to know that while the editor is working on your hubs (which could be a few weeks) you won’t be able to edit or fix anything. So, if there’s an edit change that you really despise, you’ll have to contact your editor to get it changed quickly. My editor was responsive though, and that made it all o.k.

  19. Hi,

    I think it would be very good benefit to all the ones writing on hubpages. Maybe the writer might not see the mistake while another could spot it. A few articles I’ve seen have very poor grammar and spelling mistakes. Maybe this could help me to get an Google Ad Sense account as I’ve posted 11 articles and still have been turned down. My articles are based on facts and they have plenty of words not just headlines, can’t figure it out. I’m all for the new program would be great.
    Annie

  20. I feel every concern expressed in this thread should be addressed directly to the poster here where we all can read it. We have concerns and we are a community of supporters who have great interest in the concerns of other writers here. Our experiences and concerns matter to all of us.

    After reading all the comments I am deeply concerned about the uniqueness of each writer being compromised. The HubPages community has been built on the diversity and creativity of each writer who joined. If that creativity is taken over by an editor then the writer will be molded into an assembly line of robots. Can you imagine Edgar Allen Poe being told he must write in similar fashion to William B. Yeats? Creativity and uniqueness is what creates a great writer.

    To have an editor open my hubs, add capsules, change photos and other things would be violating my rights and endangering my reputation as a good writer.

    I fully understand the editing of grammar and spelling, but I can do this myself — if an editor points out an error then I can appreciate and correct the error. But to have someone who does not even know me change my hubs would be stripping the unique creativity I have built up as an online writer for over several years — I am not saying this is what will happen, but what could happen.

    I would fully support HubPro IF the editors CONTACT US FIRST and MAKE SUGGESTIONS. To change our hubs THEN notify us could be tantamount to dissension within and the decline of HubPages and possibly mass exodus. I also do not appreciate the fact that one member here said that while an editor is working on hubs in an account, we would not be able to open/edit our own hubs.

    I agree with others who say start with the low quality hubs first, not your best hubbers.

    This HubPro idea should be done with all new hubs, not established ones. Your best writers here are quite capable of editing and updating their own established hubs.

    I have been trying to get the point across to you for a few years that NEW HUBS SHOULD GO THROUGH AN EDIT BEFORE THEY ARE APPROVED FOR PUBLISHING, NOT AFTER — and any edited new hub should be in the form of SUGGESTIONS/ADVICE to give the writer the option of changing or deleting the hub. If a hub is really bad and the writer will not change it, then they will not be allowed to publish it. For a brand new hubber to write a poor low quality hub and be able to publish it is one major thing that pulls HP down and is an embarrassment to the entire community.

    HP, you have some fantastic, uniquely creative writers here, please do not change their style which makes them well loved and well-read, which brings traffic to HP.

    With all that said, I will stay in the program and give HubPro a chance to prove they will NOT endanger the unique creativity of writers who have proven to be successful here in this community.

  21. To give carte blanche permission to someone else who may or may not know the subject matter as well as we do does not seem proper especially since many of our hubs are derived from personal experiences.

    I would hope that we have the final say as to what is executed and that we are a part of the decision making process as to what happens with our older hubs. If this is the intent, then I am all for it!

  22. I’m always looking ways to improve my writing, and on of the ways I learned is having a second pair of eyes going over your articles.
    I’ve waited a few years before posting to HubPages. What was I doing? Reading articles from HubPages and noticed that the standard of each article has high quality. If I wanted my articles to be published here, my article has to be of high quality.

  23. Hello,

    Thank you very much Christy Kirwan for letting me know how to get Google Ad Sense, all my articles have had more than 800 words, and so far I only have 13 published. Sometimes it takes a few days to complete my research as I like to double check and recheck again to make sure all my facts are correct, plus I like to edit my article a couple of times to be sure the spelling and grammar is correct.
    As for NEW HP users, I don’t think its FAIR for them to be SINGLED OUT TO BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE THEY ARE NEW. How would you feel if you were new and was being singled out? Actually you have no idea if a new person has written before coming to HP.
    It would not be fair to single out new people and not the others, so therefor some new people may stop writing on HP altogether. To me it sounds like a way to be prejudice against new writers.
    I agree with the new Hub Pro as it could benefit everyone.

  24. This sounds almost like “Big Brother” – way too much control.
    I saw some very valid concerns and those that are “on-board” seem almost like fake replies.

    Some of the things that concern me as well as others who’ve commented are:

    1. Does this take away ownership rights from the author?

    2. Will the changes be suggestions? Or do you plan to change it without our knowledge, then inform us after?

    3. Will we have the option to disagree and/or the ability to change anything we don’t approve of? Or will we be forced to accept it?

    4. There are indeed subjects that contain its own jargon – how will this seeming “auto-edit” affect this?

    5. If we choose to “opt out” are we going to penalized? Meaning, is HP going to make it more difficlut for our articles to be located??

    I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this – it depends on the type of editing – but I’ll give it one opportunity.
    If I’m uncomfortable with anything for any reason, such as feeling as if my rights have been violated in any way, or my voice has been silenced, or I no longer have control over my articles, I’ll opt-out of HubPages altogether.
    Maybe no one cares because I’m new here, but there are other options in the internet world. I love this site, but not enough to lose my rights or my voice.

    For now, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt (one time only) and see what happens…

    God bless you all…

    • Hi Mothers of Nations,

      I’ll do my best to address each of your concerns:

      1.) The author still retains the copyright and complete ownership of the work. You are still free to unpublish edited work or to move it to another website or blog if you wish.
      2.) Each author will be notified before the editing process is begun on her Hubs. The changes will be made automatically, but the Hub’s author is free to revert any changes she doesn’t like after the editor has finished her work.
      3.) Yes. Hubbers who have participated in the program may make new changes or revert the editor’s changes after that editor has finished working. Hubbers will not be able to edit while the editor is working because the HubTool is only set up to support one user at a time, and two people editing simultaneously would likely cause bugs and potentially loss of content. But you will still have control of the Hub once the editor has completed her work, and you are welcome to change back anything you don’t like.
      4.) The editors will be in close contact with the Hubbers whose work they are editing. Your editor will typically contact you about any technical jargon she is not sure about. You can specify how much involvement and communication you would like during the process, and the editor will keep you in the loop and work closely with you. (On the other hand, if you’d prefer not to be bothered, editors will respect that as well.)
      5.) Hubbers who opt out will not be penalized.

      I hope that helps to put some of your fears to rest, and thanks for giving us the benefit of the doubt.

  25. As I have been chosen for this editing program, I am looking forward to it positively. I mean I believe, this is all being done to improve the quality of our hubs and I do not see any harm into it.

  26. I’ve just come across this program and as much as I appreciate their editing but it feels like the editors have wiped away my identity here on hubpages. It’s like the new edited version is just a new article and there’s no sign that I wrote anything which makes me feel a bit upset that the editors really think I’m an awful writer. It’s got its pros and cons but if you’re going to entirely wipe out the article and replace it with something that’s not even mine, then I dont feel like a writer at all do I??

  27. Is there anyway of knowing if our hubs are likely to be selected for editing? I mean it says hubs with the highest traffic will be selected.. if that’s the case I may not have to worry about any of my hubs beeping selected for some time but it would be good to have some warning so I can be prepared. I know of one Hubber who was away when her hubs were selected and didn’t have a chance to read her emails or agree and her hubs were edited without her knowledge. I’d hate to have that happen.

  28. I’ve been a member of HubPages for a long time, but have never been very active, as is evident in my late response to this information. . When I first came (before 2011), I thought the site could benefit from some good editing, so I welcome this move. I’m nowhere near the 500-ish views per day, but would welcome any suggestions at any time about Hubs I’ve written/might write.

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