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Featured Articles and the Quality Assessment Process

Updated on September 22, 2017

We believe HubPages and our Network Sites are the ultimate place online for in-depth, media-rich, useful, original content. To make it clear to the world that HubPages is a place for great writing, we promote a select set of articles that epitomize this style.

The Quality Assessment Process determines which articles end up being made available to search engines, being showcased on the Related and Popular sections of other articles, on topic pages, and examined for inclusion on our Network Sites. These articles are known as Featured articles.

How the Quality Assessment Process Works

The Quality Assessment Process incorporates several factors, including:

  • Ratings of an article's quality as determined by automated metrics
  • Reviews from a HubPages moderator
  • The article's search traffic over an extended period of time

As articles mature, are edited, and are expanded upon, they are reviewed again periodically by the Quality Assessment Process. This means that any article may eventually become Featured even if it isn't at first, and conversely, any Featured article may become unfeatured if the quality is compromised or spammy elements are introduced by future edits made by the author.

How Automated Metrics and Analyses Work

HubPages employs some of the brightest minds in artificial intelligence and machine learning to help develop and refine computer algorithms to reliably identify and rate the quality of content. These algorithms constantly monitor their own success and perform adjustments to a multitude of variables to optimize their own performance.

Additionally, whenever available, these algorithms incorporate ratings from moderators to identify successful patterns and provide suggestions for improvements to the automated algorithms.

Pending Articles

Every article that is initially published and subsequently edited goes through the Quality Assessment Process, and therefore has a new opportunity to become Featured if it isn't already. While articles are pending they will show up in the personalized Feeds and topic pages of other signed in HubPages users.

An article going through the Quality Assessment Process may be pending for up to 48 hours, depending on how the volume of submissions we receive, and the clock is restarted every time the article is edited.

You may notice that you do not see ads on your newly-published pending articles. The first time an article is published, it will not receive ads until it has been through the QAP. After the Pending period has passed, ads will appear on the page, so long as they are not automatically disabled for moderation reasons.

Featured Articles

Articles that our Quality Assessment Process has determined to have high quality and potential for reader engagement are called "Featured" articles. These articles can be indexed by search engines, can be seen on HubPages topic pages, may show up in the Related or Popular sections of other articles, and have the chance to be evaluated for acceptance to our Network Sites.

The Quality Assessment Process is dynamic and ongoing, which means that if an article that is not originally Featured, it still may be improved and become Featured later after subsequent edits and QAP reviews. This also means that articles that are initially Featured may become unFeatured later if lower quality ratings come in or if the article experiences low levels of search traffic over time.

Articles that are not Featured are still available to readers via the URL (which you can share in emails, on social media, etc) and can be seen on your HubPages followers' Feeds. If you want to, you can also display both Featured and unfeatured articles on your Profile (by changing your settings under My Account > Profile > Edit Profile), and insert specific articles into your Profile’s "In the Spotlight" carousel (though we recommend only displaying your best, most successful work there).

If you believe a particular article deserves to be Featured and isn't, edit it to check for typos and grammar mistakes and add more useful information. Every time an article is edited, it is reviewed once more by our Quality Assessment Process and given a fresh opportunity to be Featured.

HubPages Boot Camp: Five Featured Articles Needed to Pass

Can you pass Boot Camp on HubPages?
Can you pass Boot Camp on HubPages? | Source

What Is HubPages Boot Camp?

New users on HubPages go through a program we refer to as Boot Camp to help them learn more about our quality guidelines and standards. While in Boot Camp, new articles that do not pass the Quality Assessment Process and become Featured will be unpublished. Authors must publish 5 Featured articles to make it out of Boot Camp.

Hubbers who pass Boot Camp will earn a Featured Article Accolade (commemorating the hard work of writing excellent content). Articles published by Boot Camp grads that do not pass the QAP will remain published (and simply not be Featured)— even if their total number of Featured articles drops below five.

Do whatever it takes to get those five Hubs Featured!
Do whatever it takes to get those five Hubs Featured! | Source

What Criteria Are Used to Evaluate Articles?

You can read the exact criteria we use for evaluating articles yourself by visiting our Hub Rating Scale summary page. We recommend shooting for at least an 8 on the scale when writing on HubPages.

Content by all new authors goes through the Quality Assessment Process. The time stamp on the Latest page or in the HubPages Feed reflects the article's published date and time, not the time it was Featured.

The Informational Writing Scale summarizes our rating criteria.
The Informational Writing Scale summarizes our rating criteria.

Want Your Article to Be Featured?

To give your pages the best chance of being Featured, make sure they meet the substance, organization, and grammar and mechanics criteria of an 8+ on the scale. (And creative pieces should shoot for an 8+ on the creative writing scale.)

A collective score of eight on all levels is not the minimum requirement to be Featured; the minimum quality score is actually much lower (make sure you're at least well above a six), but given our margin of error, we want to make it clear that if you meet the criteria of an eight, you can be very confident that your article will be Featured.

What Are the Characteristics of an 8+ Article?

  • A clear and specific title backed up by a fully-developed message
  • Generous use of concrete facts and figures to back up arguments or assertions
  • Helpful and abundant supportive media such as images, videos, polls, quizzes, tables, and maps
  • Clear, reader-friendly structure (descriptive subheadings)
  • Visually attractive content (both regarding media and layout)
  • No unrelated links or other spammy elements
  • No spelling or grammatical mistakes

Quick Tips for Improving Your Article's Quality

Stop by our Learning Center guide to improving an article's quality for:

  • Tips on fixing up your content to get your article Featured
  • Examples of "before" and "after" content that has been improved

Or post a link to the article in the Improving Your Hub Forum to request advice from other writers. Keep in mind that the article must be published to be seen by other HubPages members.

Why Articles May Not Be Featured

Your article may not be Featured for one of three reasons:

  1. It did not get a sufficient quality score through the Quality Assessment Process to be Featured
  2. It contains spammy elements
  3. After being Featured for a period of time, it did not get sufficiently high levels of search traffic to continue to be Featured

How to Tell Why Your Article Isn't Featured

Your article was not Featured for reasons associated with its quality score if...

  • An icon with an empty circle appears beside its title in your My Account page

Your article lost Featured status for reasons associated with search traffic if...

  • A half-black, half-white circle appears beside its title in your My Account page

Check which symbol is next to your Hub's title in your My Account page.
Check which symbol is next to your Hub's title in your My Account page.

How Much Search Traffic is Needed to Stay Featured?

Your article needs to have some search traffic to stay Featured. The amount of traffic it needs and the length of time it has to accrue that traffic will be determined by your Hubber Score.

Articles written by authors with very high Hubber Scores will have up to a few years to gain traffic. Those with lower Hubber Scores may have as little as one month (we're talking very low Hubber Scores in that scenario).

New writers are given a generous grace period, even if they have relatively low Hubber Scores, since it can take time to get used to HubPages and get more articles published (which will help one's Hubber Score to normalize).

An Ongoing Process...

Please note that QAP evaluation is an ongoing process. HubPages engineers are constantly working to improve and refine the system to more accurately determine quality. This means any article may be reevaluated at any time. The best way to ensure that all your articles remain Featured is to edit, proofread, and update frequently.

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