Hi everyone! It’s been a while since our last product announcement, and I am excited to introduce a couple of new features and give a sneak preview of another that’s coming soon. Two features are being released today: Snip Editing and My Account Quality Alerts.
Often times, Hubs get defeatured for minor issues— an inappropriate product, a glaring (but innocent) typo in the title, a promotional link or blurb, etc. We see these issues as problematic, but also easily fixable. Up until now, Hubs with these issues have been defeatured. Recently, we started sending Hubbers custom emails when Hubs are defeatured to point out exactly what is wrong. While we are glad that we can provide you with personalized feedback, we’ve found that this process can be time-consuming—both for Hubbers and HubPages moderators. So, we came up with the idea of Snip Editing.
How Does it Work?
Snip Editing is done by HubPages Moderators. With the new tools, they can fix spelling errors and typos in Hub titles and remove problematic links and capsules (for example, unrelated products, low-quality images, and inappropriately-used Ratings Capsules.) The tool does not give moderators the ability to add or change content. In fact, moderator snipping is done only on Hubs that are very close to meeting our standards, but would be defeatured due to one or more of the issues described above. In most cases, we will be removing spammy elements from Hubs so that they could more quickly become or stay Featured.
Moderators will only snip a freshly edited Hub once; after the first time, it is your responsibility to keep your Hub in compliance. If you add back problematic elements (links, products, etc.) your Hub will have a very high chance of becoming defeatured.
Will I Receive a Notification After a Snip Edit?
If your Hub had elements snipped, you will receive an email. The email will contain a link to a diff (a document with red and green highlighting) that will show you exactly what was changed. Those of you that have already participated in HubPro will be familiar with this document.
In addition to the email notification, snipped Hubs will also have the green pencil icon displayed next to their titles in My Account > Statistics. To make this icon more user-friendly, we decided to create two variations:
- The existing, green pencil icon permanently appears next to any Hub that’s been edited (whether with HubPro Basic, HubPro Premium, or Snipping). Clicking on this icon takes you to the edit history page, with access to all of your diffs and before/after images of your Hub.
- The same green pencil icon as above, but with a red exclamation point will appear next to any Hub that’s been freshly edited and has not been reviewed by you. Once reviewed (i.e., when the icon is clicked), the icon will change to the existing design without the red exclamation point.
My Account Quality Alerts
Similar to Hub Style Tips and Warnings, we are developing a few notices to alert you to quality problems we’re seeing at the account level rather than on a particular Hub. These notices will appear at the top of My Account > Statistics and will contain specific suggestions for how you can go about addressing the violations. To start, there are four types of alerts:
- Keyword Stuffing — we have detected a pattern of overly-optimized keywords across many Hubs in your account
- Products — we have detected that you have a low word-to-product ratio (< 300) across many Hubs in your account
- Grammar — we have detected a pattern of grammatical errors across many Hubs in your account
- Comments — we have detected ten or more unmoderated comments in your account
All of these warnings are designed with quality in mind. Because HubPages needs quality to continue to succeed in today’s environment, we urge you to take these warnings seriously. The first three issues from the list above— keyword stuffing, products, and grammar—all impact Hubber Scores, so addressing them is one way to improve your scores. Comment moderation does not currently factor into Hubber Score, but high-quality comments affect a Hub’s overall credibility—it’s best to keep them clean!
In addition to the two features being released today, we are currently working on an interface that will show you the clickthrough rate data for various elements (links, products, etc) inside of a Hub. Having access to this granular information will allow you to better understand your readers’ behavior and improve your Hubs. For instance, you might find that a particular product capsule is rarely engaged with by your readers and decide to remove it. More on this soon!
We hope you like these new features. As usual, let us know if you have questions or notice any issues!
13 replies on “New Quality Features: Snip Editing and Account Level Quality Alerts”
Do you have any guidance as to what is considered keyword stuffed? At Squidoo, towards the end, even natural writing one might use in magazine articles was considered keyword stuffed. I had to come up with all sorts of unnatural synonyms, especially on tutorials where calling all the components ‘it’ would result in a great deal of confusion. What percentage of topic-related words is considered natural and what percentage is considered keyword stuffing?
Please don’t avoid the question by telling me to use what sounds natural. I’m autistic; I don’t instinctively know what percentage of topic related words sounds natural to you. I kind of suspect no one else instinctively knows what percentage of topic related words sounds natural to you, either. If you trust us with what percentage you use to determine whether a hub is keyword stuffed or not, we can check the percentages in our naturally written hubs against your “natural” percentage and use unnatural synonyms as needed.
Google’s guide is the definitive source for what constitutes keyword stuffing. If you believe you are carefully following their guidelines, your Hubs are probably fine.
There’s nothing to follow carefully in the link you shared, it’s just a list of three forbidden actions plus an exhortation to use words naturally. I’m not doing any of the black hat things listed so they don’t apply. Google does not define what natural is to them.
I doubt you have an AI capable of telling what natural is by how it makes it feel so I assume your algorithm for finding keyword stuffing includes a percentage. My natural writing style (which has been found acceptable by the print publishers, ezines, and clients who have purchased my writing) was occasionally flagged as keyword stuffed toward the end of Squidoo when they set the percentage of keywords allowed at about two percent. I’m not trying to be difficult, but you are asking us to comply to a standard you won’t define in a concrete manner.
Keeping it a secret just makes it hard for people to comply with it and creates more work for everyone. Squidoo kept the percentages as secret as they could because they didn’t trust us to not find some way to abuse the rule by following it, but people figured the percentages out by removing instances of words one at a time, anyway. Why not just give the percentage and we’ll adjust our natural writing styles to comply to it?
I still can’t find the definitive source guide, just the blurb you linked to that gives no percentages and doesn’t specify what guidelines you’ll be using to edit our work. Clear submission guidelines are part of every professional writing site. Why can’t HubPages be bothered to have the same?
You really can trust us with the percentages and guidelines. It will also show you can interact on a more professional level, something which might attract more writers to the site. The secret to getting and keeping good writers is to treat them like you’d treat people you have business dealings with rather than taking an authoritarian tone and talking down to them.
A magical thing will happen if you publish writers’ guidelines that have specific, concrete information in them such as numbers and facts. That magical thing will be that you’ll have to do less editing work. The thing most content farms can’t comprehend is that their users actually want their writing to succeed and that it’s more likely to succeed if ALL the rules the writers must follow actually exist somewhere the writer can access them.
You lose nothing by helping writers deliver what you need by making the actual rules clear. There’s no way we can hurt you with knowledge of the actual writer’s guidelines. You also don’t need to worry about the editors having jobs; we’ll make plenty of errors to keep them busy without you hiding rules from us.
Lack of an answer will tell us everything we need to know about the site’s ethics.
Thanks. Your lack of a solid answer tells me everything I need to know. Unless you’d like to correct the impression you’re giving?
It’s a huge mistake to treat the people who create what you sell ads on like anything but people you are doing business with. When you fail to, it sends a clear message that you don’t know how or don’t respect the people you are doing business with.
Note that the sites that are succeeding and highly ranked by Google have clear submission guidelines. They don’t play around hiding rules because it’s a huge waste of everyone’s time and disrespectful to boot.
I feel I have already answered your question as best I can. Follow Google’s guidelines as well as you are able. It’s what we’re doing with our policies as well.
So your editors don’t have guidelines that include percentages or specific instructions? That’s a train wreck waiting to happen. Or are you saying it’s against HP’s policy to share the guidelines?
We never disclose the exact information that goes into our algorithms. Write naturally and don’t think too hard about keywords or SEO is the best advice I can provide.
Why don’t you follow your own recommendations and stop populating the sidebar and footer with unrelated links? It’s always ‘Do as I say not as I do’ eh?
Just for the sake of quality, the word “awhile” is used inappropriately in the first line of this post. It should be “a while” in this case. The noun phrase should be used to indicate a lengthy interval of time. The adverb should be used to indicate a short period of time. I think in this case you are excusing yourself for not having posted a blog for “a while.” Hence, you should use the noun phrase and not the adverbial form as you have done. Call in the snip editors!
Thank you! I will make the correction.
I’m kind of confused about the comments thing. Are you saying the comments affect the quality of the page, i.e., how the page will rank with Google?
Gosh, that’s scary! I had thought that comments showed almighty Google that a page was very interactive….and so then even insane comments would be ‘useful’ in a way. Eh, not sure what I believe about comments, actually – some of the better performing pages I have, have very few comments.
Yes, that’s correct. While good on-topic comments help you, spammy comments, poorly-written comments, and off-topic comments are likely to actually be hurting your ranking.