Introducing HubPro Basic and Other Quality Updates!

Introducing HubPro Basic

It’s hard to believe, but we have been editing Hubs with HubPro for over a year, and we are happy to announce that we will be continuing the program and moving it out of beta.  When we began, our HubPro goal was threefold: provide a better experience for readers, increase traffic, and collaborate with Hubbers to build better Hubs.  We believe that we have succeeded in all three areas.  

  • Reader satisfaction is up by 26 points (in our NPS ratings) across edited Hubs. For more information on NPS, check out our previous blog post.
  • Traffic is up 20% (compared to the baseline) across Hubs edited with HubPro.
  • Based on survey results, Hubbers are happier than ever with HubPro. We started out a bit rocky, but we listened to your feedback and made changes that made a big difference.  From August through April our Hubber satisfaction rate went from a dismal, 5.75 out of 10 to an 8.75 from May through July!  The biggest change that we made was the increase in communication and collaboration with Hubbers while editing. We continue to strive to improve these numbers and are seeing increases every month.

Over the last few months, we have administered a few private betas testing different types of edits and their impact on quality.  As a result of our tests and because of feedback from the community, we have decided to offer two levels of editing: HubPro Basic and HubPro Premium.  HubPro Premium is a continuation of HubPro with a new snazzy name.  Here’s the breakdown for HubPro Basic.

HubPro Basic includes:

  • Editing for spelling and grammar
  • Changes that reflect the HubPages Style Guide, e.g., providing a consistent style, free of broken videos, pixelated photos, and excessive bolding and italics
  • The assurance that all links and products are relevant and benefit the reader

HubPro Basic will not include:

  • Addition of visual media—commissioned or creative commons
  • Title or subtitle changes other than grammar, spelling, and title case
  • Significant reorganization of the Hub’s layout
  • Fact checking or research to add content
  • Extensive Hubber and Editor collaboration, although Hubbers are welcome to email us with any questions.

With this change, we will be able to edit more Hubs to improve the overall quality of HubPages.  We strongly believe that grammar, spelling, and spam are signals of content quality that both readers and search algorithms recognize. In our beta testing, traffic to Hubs that were edited for grammar, spelling, and spam showed an increase in traffic of over 15% almost immediately.  

Every Hub that we improve helps the entire HubPages community. Because HubPro Basic does not involve adding content or major organizational changes, any Hub may be edited with HubPro Basic (HubPro Premium still has an opt-out option, but HubPro Basic does not). We know some Hubbers are a bit uneasy about having their work edited; however, as we work toward a more professional HubPages, we believe HubPro Basic is a necessary step in improving quality across the site.  For those Hubbers that write error- and spam-free Hubs, the edits, if any, will be minor.  

Moving forward, HubPages staff will review more Hubs for quality (even if they haven’t been edited).  Hubs with significant traffic will likely be edited with HubPro before going through our  quality algorithm.  However, adding spammy elements back into a Hub after editing will likely result in the Hub being defeatured.  As always, we recommend editing your own work periodically, starting with your highest-traffic Hubs.  

Many Hubbers have asked why we are focusing on Hubs with the most traffic when editing? Why don’t we work on the Hubs that aren’t seeing any traffic?  Doesn’t the fact that I’m receiving search engine traffic mean that my Hub is high quality and that editing will risk its current traffic? The answer is fourfold:

  1. We can impact the most readers by editing our highest-traffic Hubs.
  2. The traffic gains from editing high-traffic Hubs help our business substantially more, e.g., 20% increase on a Hub that is seeing 100 views a day vs. a 20% increase on a Hub that gets 5 views a day.
  3. Improving Hubs with high traffic by adding great media can drive substantially more social shares and links which benefit the individual Hub and the entire site.  Some of the Hubs that have been the most successful on social media have been edited by HubPro.
  4. Because we can analyze traffic and quality across all Hubs, we know that search engines send traffic to Hubs of widely varying quality.  While there’s a correlation between quality and traffic, it is not absolute. The best way to maintain your traffic is to regularly update and improve your work to remain competitive.

For more information, check out our HubPro FAQ.

Automated Grammar and Spelling Checker

Yet more innovations are coming—in September we hope to announce a service that will improve spelling and grammar across all of HubPages. The automated system will impact every featured Hub on HubPages by fixing over half a million common errors on the site—including misspellings in the Comment Capsule and eventually on Q&A and the Forums! In our tests, 98% of the errors corrected were accurate. While the system works well, it is only able to fix a limited set of errors.  Since there are always special cases, you will have some user controls. There are more specifics to be finalized but expect more information in the next few weeks.

Lastly, HubPages has gone through many changes in its nine years.  We understand that change can be difficult.  However, we think it’s important for Hubbers to know that we see ourselves now as a unique blend of writers/enthusiasts and professional editors.  With the launch of our automated grammar and spelling checker, every Featured Hub will have the opportunity to be edited, and as traffic increases, additional editing resources could be assigned.  While most Hubbers have been eager for their work to be edited, we understand that writing online can be deeply personal and that having someone else edit your work can be difficult.  Our editors are writers too, and they understand your hesitation and make every effort to touch your work with as much care as possible.  Our hope is that you continue to create fantastic Hubs on topics you are passionate about and that we can work together to create a site that everyone is proud of.  

Thanks for being a community that cares about quality and for your support as we improve HubPages!

7 thoughts on “Introducing HubPro Basic and Other Quality Updates!

  1. Spell and grammar checker always useful for everyone who just type word and after that he or she forget to correction but We would waiting for your software and also useful for all hubbers !!

  2. Why would you have the bot edit comments? That loses the authenticity of comments because not all people know talk “right”. So here it is your bot is changing up the comments of people. If people wanted their comments to look a certain way, they would have ran their comment through a spell checker and grammar checker (e.g. like in Microsoft Word or online tool) BEFORE they posted it. The bot “fixing” other people’s comments is editing what other people say according to its own standard and therefore taking away the authenticity of the comment. Everyone speaks differently and therefore comments should be left UNTOUCHED by your bots. We are not bots. You SHOULD NEVER go changing someone’s comment without their permission because then the comment becomes a comment “created” by the person (or bot in the case) that edited the comment to its own set of standards. LEAVE THE COMMENTS ALONE. If you want to edit articles, that is one thing, but approval should be required as your bot may change the tone or context in which the author originally had. Hubpages will become known for BOT writing if you automatically edit articles AND comments and the value of the site’s content will decrease and search engines may even start to devalue your site’s content as a result.

  3. I think I am in agreement with Mike on the comments editing. The problem with that is that the person who writes the comment legally owns the copyright to their comment. They wrote their words. They own what they wrote. When HubPages changes their comment without written permission, then that could cause future problems, especially when it comes to first, second, or third party liability issues. I am not a lawyer, but I know I would not like it if HubPages changed the context of one of my comments.

  4. This is the first I have heard of HubPro, Basic or Premium or otherwise; I presume those cute little black and white robots are an artifact of this project. I understand the purpose of your initiatives but caution about one-size-fits all rules; and what rules you do have, you should follow. For example in my seventh most popular hub, a 23,000 monstrosity, the suggested improvements was not to group my Amazon ads together and instead relate them to specific subjects. When I went through them, I found no groupings and they all, except the last one, pertained to the section they were in, e.g., a book on the 1883 depression in the section about the 1883 depression. Since I didn’t actually violate the rule, I just arbitrarily picked a couple of Amazon ads and deleted them so that my five year featured hub could become featured again.

    While I heartily appreciate the grammar and spell checker for the hub body (the white robots), what is the purpose of grammar/spell checking comments, the black robots, they can’t be fixed.

    As to excessive bolding, I am certainly guilty of that because my hubs are number intensive, somewhat technical (i.e., boring), and long. The font you use is not conducive to making numbers standout on the page so my whole point gets lost in the gray of the paragraph; hence I bold and suffer the grammar, hub score, and feature consequences. I didn’t stop using all caps for my section headings even though they lose some of their usefulness as a result.

    Your attempt to help hubbers write, but please don’t make them faceless as a result by forcing them to use your preferred style of writing.

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