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Featured Hubs and the Quality Assessment Process

Updated on August 19, 2015

We believe HubPages is the ultimate place online for in-depth, media-rich, useful, original content. To make it clear to the world that HubPages is the home of thorough, high quality, engaging resources, we promote a select set of Hubs that epitomize this style.

The Quality Assessment Process determines which of these Hubs end up being showcased on the Related and Latest Hub sections of other Hubs and Topic Pages and made available to search engines. These Hubs are known as Featured Hubs.

The HubPages homepage is one place where Featured Hubs are showcased.
The HubPages homepage is one place where Featured Hubs are showcased.

How the Quality Assessment Process Works

The Quality Assessment Process incorporates several factors, including:

  • Ratings of a Hub’s quality as determined by people using the Hub Hopper
  • Ratings of a Hub’s quality as determined by automated metrics
  • The Hub's search traffic over an extended period of time

As Hubs mature, are edited, and are expanded upon, they are reviewed again by the Quality Assessment Process. This means that any Hub may eventually become Featured, and vice-versa.


How Hub Hopper Ratings Work

The Hub Hopper enables us to factor ratings from real readers into our Quality Assessment Process. While we garner ratings form Hubbers on HubPages through the Hub Hopper on our site, we also gather ratings through a Mechanical Turk app to ensure that we get a sufficient number of ratings to cover the large number of Hubs that are newly published and freshly edited every day.

The Hub Hopper is designed to test and calibrate the accuracy of those using it, so only accurate ratings are given weight.

At HubPages Headquarters, a special team, known as the Gold Panel, meets frequently to discuss quality standards. They also regularly rate Hubs using the Hopper, and their ratings are used as a standard to which other Hoppers are held.

If three or more Gold Panel hoppers give a Hub the same rating, that rating becomes a Gold Rating and the Hub becomes a Gold Standard Hub. Those who are new to the Hopper start off by rating Gold Standard Hubs, which gives a good idea of which Hoppers’ ratings can be trusted.

Based on their ratings of Gold Standard Hubs, Hoppers’ biases are corrected in future ratings. For example, if one Hubber is particularly harsh with her ratings, our system corrects for her harshness.

Weighted averages of ratings are collected for Hubs. Ratings from very accurate people are given more weight while ratings from inaccurate people are given less weight. Ratings from very inaccurate people are ignored altogether.

To protect Hubs against changes in Hopper accuracy, Hoppers are given new Gold Standard Hubs to rate occasionally and their accuracy scores are re-calibrated accordingly.

Finally, ratings from the Hub Hopper are not our only means of assessing a Hub’s quality. Hubs are rated via internal, automated systems, and may also be rated by HubPages staff and members.

How Automated Metrics and Analysis Works

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 ingest ratings from human raters (beyond Hub Hoppers) to identify successful patterns and provide suggestions for improvements to the automated algorithms.

Pending Hubs

Every Hub that is initially published and subsequently edited goes through the Quality Assessment Process and therefore has a new opportunity to become Featured. While Hubs are pending they will show up in the personalized Feeds and Topic Pages of signed in Hubbers.

The Quality Assessment Process takes approximately 24 hours, and is restarted every time a Hub is edited.

To prevent potentially-Featured Hubs from seeing a delay in appearing in search results, we do not show ads on newly-published Pending Hubs. After the Pending period has passed, ads will appear on the page, so long as they are not automatically disabled for moderation reasons.

Any Hub may be featured on your "In the Spotlight" carousel
Any Hub may be featured on your "In the Spotlight" carousel

Featured Hubs

Featured Hubs are Hubs that our Quality Assessment Process has determined to have high quality and potential for reader engagement. These Hubs are showcased on other Hubs, Topic Pages, the latest Hubs list and also made available to search engines.

The Quality Assessment Process is dynamic and ongoing, which means that if a Hub that is not originally Featured, it still may end up showcased on Topic Pages and Hubs after subsequent edits and reviews by the Process. This also means that Hubs which may be initially Featured may become unFeatured later if lower quality ratings come in or if the Hub experiences low levels of search traffic over time.

Hubs that are not Featured are still available through their URLs and in the Feeds of your Followers. All Hubs can also be shared via social media and email with friends and family, and should you choose, you may also display all of your Hubs on your Profile (by changing your settings under My Account > Profile > Edit Profile), or insert certain Hubs into your Profile’s "In the Spotlight" Hubs carousel, though we recommend only displaying your best, most successful work.

If you believe a particular Hub of yours deserves to be Featured, edit it to check for typos and grammar mistakes, add more media and information, and increase its potential for reader engagement (e.g. make it more alluring, useful, and accessible). Every time a Hub is edited, it is reviewed once more by our Quality Assessment Process and given a fresh opportunity to be Featured.

Five Featured Hubs Needed to Pass Boot Camp

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

HubPages Boot Camp

New Hubbers on HubPages go through a program we refer to as Boot Camp to help them learn more about our quality guidelines and standards.

To pass Boot Camp, Hubbers must publish at least five Featured Hubs.

Until new Hubbers pass Boot Camp, Hubs they publish that do not pass the Quality Assessment Process and become Featured will be unpublished.

Hubbers who pass Boot Camp will earn a Featured Hub Accolade (commemorating their laudable ability to create high-quality Hubs). Hubs 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 Hubs drops below five.

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

Quality Criteria

To get a sound understanding of the criteria used by Hub Hoppers, we recommend Hopping some Hubs yourself. You can also find a summary of the Hopper criteria in tabular form on our Hub Rating Scale summary page.

All new Hubbers go through the Quality Assessment Process. Please keep in mind, the time stamp on the Latest page or in the Feed is the published date and time, not the time the Hub was Featured.

The Informational Writing Scale summarizes Hopper rating criteria in tabular form.
The Informational Writing Scale summarizes Hopper rating criteria in tabular form.

Want Your Hub to Be Featured?

To give your Hubs the best possible odds of being Featured, make sure that it meets the substance, organization, and grammar and mechanics criteria used to describe Hubs rated at an eight or above.

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

What Are the Characteristics of an Eight (Plus) Hub?

  • 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 a Hub's Quality

Stop by our Learning Center guide to improving Hubs' quality for:

  • Tips on improving a Hub's quality
  • Examples of "before" and "after" Hubs

Or post a link to the Hub in the Improving Your Hub Forum to request advice from other Hubbers. Keep in mind that the Hub must be published to be seen by your fellow Hubbers.

Why Hubs May Not Be Featured

Your Hub may not be Featured for one of two 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, the Hub did not get sufficiently high levels of search traffic to continue to be Featured

How to Tell Why Your Hub Lost Featured Status

Your Hub 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 Hub 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 for a Hub to Stay Featured?

Your Hub 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 is determined by your Hubber Score.

Hubs written by Hubbers with very high Hubber Scores will have up to a few years for their Hubs to prove themselves. Those with lower Hubber Scores may have as little as one month (we're talking pretty low Hubber Scores in that case).

New Hubbers are given a generous grace period, even if they have relatively low Hubber Scores, as we acknowledge that it can take time for new Hubbers to get their bearings and for their Hubber Scores 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 the quality of Hubs. This means any Hub may be reevaluated at any time. The best way to ensure that all your Hubs remain Featured is to edit, proofread, and update frequently.


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