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:
- We can impact the most readers by editing our highest-traffic Hubs.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!