Reasons Why Articles Are Moderated (& How to Fix Them)

Updated on August 29, 2017

Try to Think of Moderated Articles as Works in Progress

Articles that have been moderated are not unpublished because we do not like you; they are unpublished because they may be a danger to your legal safety, our community's reputation, our community's ability to earn an income from ads, etc.
Articles that have been moderated are not unpublished because we do not like you; they are unpublished because they may be a danger to your legal safety, our community's reputation, our community's ability to earn an income from ads, etc. | Source

Why are Articles Moderated?

Articles may be moderated because they do not meet our publishing standards. Moderation may involve something as low key as a warning email from a moderator or as involved as the article being temporarily unpublished until it is amended, submitted for review, and approved.

If you do not understand, from the email you were sent about the article or from warnings visible on the piece itself, what needs to be changed, this guide will provide you with more information on why your article was moderated and what you need to do so that it can be published again.

Don't worry- all moderated articles need is a bit of work. This guide will help you understand what needs to be done.
Don't worry- all moderated articles need is a bit of work. This guide will help you understand what needs to be done. | Source

Jump to Your Desired Spot!

Utilize the links below to jump right to an explanation of the moderation reason in which you are interested.


Readers Aren't Very Pleased with Dubious Offers

... So we do our best to keep them off the site.
... So we do our best to keep them off the site. | Source

The Article Contains a Dubious Offer

Articles that promote dubious offers are prohibited on HubPages.

HubPages is a place for useful information that will not mislead our readers. If you have published an article in any of the categories below (not an all-inclusive list), your article will most likely be unpublished until you significantly change it. If you have any questions about what kind of content is allowed on HubPages, check out our Learning Center entry on creating high quality content.

Non-promotional, medical or scientific, or exposé pieces on these subjects may be permitted.

Examples of Dubious Offers

  • "Watch TV/movies on your PC" scams
  • Promotion of cell phone spyware
  • Promotion of HCG supplements/injections
  • Promotion of medical treatments that the FDA or FTC have found to be fraudulent.
  • Promotion of MLM or network marketing programs
  • Promotion of cash gifting schemes
  • Dubious weight loss diets and supplements

The Internet Doesn't Need More of These

So we'll thank you to not put them in your articles!
So we'll thank you to not put them in your articles! | Source

The Articles Contains Unrelated Links or Products

If your article has been moderated as being in violation of the HubPages Terms of Use because of unrelated links or products, it means that you have linked to sites or products that have nothing to do with your content.

If you are in violation of this rule, you should have received an email stating that your article has been identified as promoting unrelated site(s) or product(s).

Unrelated links and products include:

  • Amazon Capsules or links
  • Links within your text to other websites

For example, if you write a piece about the best gardening tools, you can't have an Amazon Capsule linking to office supplies. It is a much better idea to include an Amazon Capsule linking to the tools that you are recommending, i.e., gardening gloves, garden trowels, etc.

Please be especially careful when using keyword search based Amazon Capsules. If your search is not specific enough you may inadvertently end up with unrelated products on your article.

Note! Your Articles Are Not Necessarily Related

Many Hubbers make the mistake of linking to other articles they have written even when they are not related to the content of the piece in question (this is often done in the form of lists at the end of the article).

These links, though to articles by the same author, still count as unrelated.

Only link to articles that are directly related to the content of your own.

Do fresh apple pie recipes really make sense on an article about Apple electronics? Nope.
Do fresh apple pie recipes really make sense on an article about Apple electronics? Nope. | Source

In order to have an article that has been moderated for having unrelated products or links republished, you will need to:

  • Remove any Amazon Capsules that are not directly related to the content of your article (e.g. any products are not explicitly mentioned in your content)
  • Remove any links that are not directly related to your content

You might consider adding more original content, and relevant, legitimate links to other online resources that complement this article's topic.

Does Your Article Really Need to be Plastered with Promotions?


The Article is Overly Promotional

It's always a good idea to make sure that your article is creating value for your reader. If you are simply writing to create backlinks for your site or to make money from an affiliate, you aren't creating value for our community and your article will probably be moderated - if it hasn't been already. Purely promotional offers and pages designed only to promote other sites or businesses are not allowed. There are places on the web to publish solely for backlinks; HubPages is not one of them.

If you receive a warning about your article being overly promotional, or if your article is moderated for it, it means your piece has been identified as excessively promoting another site or sites.

It may...

  • Have too many links
  • Contain an excessive number of Amazon Capsules
  • Repeatedly emphasize keywords and/or phrases
  • Appear to be solely designed to procure backlinks
  • Solely promote a products, site, good, or service
  • Be keyword stuffed

Do Not Load Your Article Down with Promotional Clutter


If your intent is to create a great article for your readers and your article has been moderated for being overly promotional, it is very easy to fix. Simply make sure that none of the following rules are being broken, make any necessary revisions, and resubmit for publication.

Overly Promotional Rules:

  1. Your article can have a MAXIMUM of 2 links to any one domain. Links in the image source field in the Photo Capsule count toward this limit.
  2. You can not give a short teaser and a link to "read more" or "continue". The article must have the full content you want to present as well as a title that represents your content.
  3. Your article should contain at least 300 words of text for every product displayed in Amazon Capsules.

Further clarification about these rules and their related earnings is available below.

A Note About Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing, or over-use of a certain word or phrase to the point that it detracts from the readability of your article, will also result in moderation as overly promotional. This can mean repeatedly emphasizing words or phrases in bold, italics, or with hyperlinks, or including a section with no other purpose than to list a bunch of keywords in your article (and that provides little or no benefit to the reader).

Rule 1: Your article can have a maximum of 2 links to any one domain. Links in the image source field in the Photo Capsule count toward this limit.

If you have created a page simply to procure backlinks, it will most likely be moderated. HubPages allows two links to one domain, including image source links. Links to well-known resources like Wikipedia, news sites, etc., are an exception.

If you have written an article with more than two links to one domain, it will be unpublished and you will receive an email letting you know about the violation. To remedy the problem, remove any excess links and resubmit for publication.

Rule 2: Short teaser and a link to "read more" or "continue" are not allowed. Articles must have complete information and appropriate titles.

When a reader finds your article she doesn't want to be led to another site; she wants to have all or most of the information given to her in one place.

Articles that ask users to click on a link to "read more" or "continue here" are against our Terms of Use (and generally provide a terrible user experience).

We have to protect our readers from going to unknown sites that could be harmful. That said, we welcome Hubbers to share links to sites at which visitors might learn more about the article's subject so long as these are not purely self-serving.

If your piece has been moderated because it does not offer the full information promised by the title, you will need to edit it so that it is complete before you can submit it for publication. HubPages doesn't allow duplicate content, so you are not allowed to copy the content from your link and publish it on HubPages (unless remove the content from that destination first- and wait at least one week before publishing it on our site).

An article's content must address its title. If you have a title that does not correctly represent your content, your article can be unpublished until it is fixed (we have additional rules about deceptive titles which are described below).

Rule 3: Your article should contain at least 300 words of text for every product displayed in Amazon Capsules

If you have received an email regarding your product-to-text ratio it means that your article has a large number of Amazon Capsules listed in comparison to the amount of text. We require that you feature no more than 1 product for about every 300 words of original text. This ensures that an article is not all products and no information.

Please note that our calculation is based on the number of products that could be displayed for a particular capsule based on how you've configured it, which may be more than the number of products that are currently displayed. For example, if you have a keyword-based capsule configured to show 2 products, but there is only 1 product right now that matches the search, it will still count as 2 products for product ratio purposes.

Articles with too many products may be moderated as overly promotional. We recommend reducing the number of products configured for display or adding more detailed information about the products.

Let's Leave Spam Out of the Picture


The Article is Promoted Through Spam or Abuse of Other Sites

Hubbers sharing their work elsewhere online act as ambassadors for HubPages' community, and we want to make sure that our community is represented in a positive light. For this reason, we do not allow behavior that can hurt the reputation of HubPages and its Hubbers.

If you receive an email stating that your article has been identified as being promoted through spam or abuse of other sites, it will be unpublished.

Promoting spam or abuse of other sites may include, but is not limited to:

  • Spamming comment threads, forums, or profiles or spamming individuals via email or chat
  • The creation of spam blogs or spam pages on other sites to promote your work on HubPages
  • The use of automation tools to do any of the above
  • Any article that has been promoted using spam, including email, comment, blog, wiki or other types of bulk unsolicited messages.

If you have received this email unfairly, please contact us through our Help Wizard.

Unfortunately, because of the seriousness of this transgression, we consider articles that were promoted through abuse to be irreparable; they will not be republished.

The Article Links to Prohibited Sites

HubPages is a place for writers to contribute useful, high-quality information. In order to ensure the health of the site, we do not allow links to certain sites that are spammy, overly promotional, or heavily saturated (for example, sites promising six pack abs).

To provide a great user experience for our readers, we prohibit links to the following:

  • Affiliate or promotional sites in subject areas containing a high proportion of low quality or promotional content (for example, six pack abs, forex, weight loss, etc.)
  • Squeeze pages, thin eBook sales pages, and lead capture forms
  • Sites that contain window confirmation boxes that interfere with site navigation (for example, when clicking the back or close buttons), or redirect users to unwanted websites
  • Links that initiate downloads or change user preferences

Commonly used affiliate programs are evaluated based on how they are broadly used on HubPages. While some of the offers or sites promoted may be ok, if a preponderance are not, then they may be prohibited anyway.

You can easily see which links are problematic for you by navigating to your article and clicking on the warnings that appear in the black box at the top. It is important to know that not all prohibited links will necessarily be identified in that list. It is your responsibility to remove all links that fit the descriptions above.

We have included a list of other prohibited links above. Unfortunately, we cannot give an exhaustive list because the list is always changing and growing, but you can get the idea of what is and isn't acceptable.

In order to have your article republished, you will need to remove all links to prohibited sites (as well as any sites meeting the descriptions above).

Thanks, but we don't need more advice on getting six pack abs


Examples of Prohibited Sites

We do not allow links to sites promoting:

  • Web Hosting
  • Get Six Pack Abs
  • Sales of eBooks
  • Pay Day Loans
  • Get your Ex Back
  • Male Sexual Health
  • Free Downloads
  • Get Rid of Man Boobs
  • Reverse Number Lookup

Mind Those Spelling Errors!


The Article Is Substandard or Short

Though our Quality Assessment Process holds articles to much higher standards if they are to be Featured, articles must also meet minimal quality standards if they are to be published at all.

Our minimum quality standards are in place to prevent people from publishing work that is clearly not ready for the world to see.

If you received a specific email stating your article is substandard or short, it could mean:

  • You have written an empty or short piece
  • There is poor spelling or grammar that interferes with readability/credibility
  • Your article has awkward or difficult-to-read formatting, or is written in ALL CAPS
  • Your article has a Link or Amazon Capsule as the first full-width capsule
  • Your article has broken links or missing videos

By adding more content and fixing its spelling, grammar, links and formatting, you can bring your article into a state that will enable it to be published.

For more tips on what to do, visit our guide to improving the quality of an article.

The Article Is Purely Personal

HubPages is not a traditional blog site, on which people publish journal-type entries. Articles can and should contain personal experience, but must also be...

  • Interesting
  • Useful
  • Valuable

.. to someone who does not know you personally.

If your article has been moderated for being purely personal, you can bring it in line with our publishing standards by:

  • Changing the title so that your article becomes more informative and less of a journal entry (e.g. change "My Dog House Disaster" to "How to Build a Structurally Sound Dog House")
  • Adding concrete facts, tips, guidance, and information that is easy for readers to spot (descriptive headings help, as do bulleted and numbered lists)

Again, personal anecdotes and experiences can add great value and we welcome them; they simply have to be provided in a manner that adds value to the article and provides readers with valuable information.

Please Save Your Personal Journal Entries for a Personal Blog


The Article Contains a Watermarked or Pixelated Image

Obtrusive watermarked or pixelated images and videos on an article take away an author's credibility. Importing images that are either original or legally acquired tells your audience that you care about your topic. Images that are low resolution, grainy, or pixelated detract from the aesthetic appeal and are prohibited.

For the same reason, images or videos that contain obtrusive watermarks are also prohibited. This rule applies even if they are your own photos or videos, or photos or videos that you have the legal right to use.

Amending an article that has been moderated for having watermarked or pixelated images is easy. We have two recommendations:

  1. Simply remove the offending photograph. If you remove the photo, we suggest replacing it with an original or legally-attributed photo. For more information on finding and using images from external resources, stop by our Learning Center entry on legally using photos on HubPages.
  2. You can also try shrinking the display width of pixelated images to make the image more clear, either by editing the Photo Capsule or by moving the capsule using the right arrow so that it displays at half width.

A Watermarked Image


A Pixelated Image


A Note About Watermarked Videos

While videos with large watermarks are not allowed, videos with station watermarks- small logos at the bottom corner of a page- will not lead to moderation activity.

The Article has a Deceptive Title or Capsule

If the contents of your article do not deliver on its title, or use a capsule inappropriately it may be considered deceptive. For instance, a 400 word article titled "All About the Stock Market" is deceptive because it's impossible to cover that subject thoroughly in 400 words. Some leeway may be given for particularly clever titles, or in categories like Humor, Creative Writing, or Poetry. However, if you're not being clever or creative, please just choose a title that accurately describes the contents of your article.

There are two ways amend an article that has been moderated for having a deceptive title:

  1. Change the title so that it describes the actual content
  2. Change the content so that it delivers on what the title promises

Related to deceptive capsule usage:

  1. Recipe Capsules should only be used in recipe articles. This includes articles that contain recipes but are not categorized under the Food and Cooking Topic.
  2. Rating Capsules should only be used in recipe and review articles.
  3. Map Capsules should have a location that is directly related to the content. Make sure you do not leave the default location (San Francisco).

Do Not Mislead Your Readers

If you promise this...
If you promise this... | Source
... don't deliver this.
... don't deliver this. | Source

The Article Is Miscategorized

You should always select the most specific topic that is relevant for your article. We moderate articles that are not properly categorized because they can degrade the value of topic pages and show up on articles with which they have no relation (which ultimately hurts your article's odds of seeing success).

Our categorization tool may suggest topics based on your title that do not match the actual subject very well. If that happens you can use the browse or search features to find a more appropriate Topic. The HubPages suggestion tool is not perfect; even if we suggest it, your article could be labeled deceptively categorized. You know your article better than anyone and should be able to properly categorize it.

Categorizing photos and poetry:

  • Articles that consist mostly of photos must be categorized within the Entertainment > Photos & Videos Topic.
  • Articles that contain Poetry must be categorized within the Books, Literature, and Writing > Poems and Poetry Topic.

To amend an article that is miscategorized, simply find the topic that best fits its subject matter. If you need help categorizing your article, you may find it easier to locate a particular Topic using our complete Topic tree.

The Article Contains Duplicate Content

The content you publish on HubPages cannot exist anywhere else online. We have this policy because:

  • HubPages is designed to be a place where people share unique, genuine content
  • HubPages is not a site for syndication
  • Duplicate content can hurt your article's odds of ranking well in search results

Should you publish content that contains duplicate content, it may be unpublished by moderators.

If you receive an email stating that your article has been identified as having duplicate content, it means that it contains text that also appears on another site or article, or is substantially similar or closely paraphrased from another work, or works.

An article labeled as having duplicate content may have:

  • Text that appears in whole or large part on another site. Even if you wrote the text or retain the copyright, you may not republish it on HubPages. When content is present on multiple sites, search engines devalue the content that has a later publication date. Thus, if you have already published content on another site and republish it on HubPages, your article and possibly the entire site will be penalized by search engines.
  • Text that already appears in whole or large part on HubPages. Copying or paraphrasing another's article or one of your own is not permitted on HubPages. Each piece should feature truly original content.
  • Text copied from multiple sources. Cutting and pasting content, even from a variety of sites, is prohibited. articles need to be written in your own words, just like academic works.
  • Substantial similarity to another work.

Please note that the issue of duplicate content is completely separate from issues of plagiarism or copyright (in other words, a moderation for duplicate content is not an accusation of plagiarism). All that it means is that we found text very similar to what is contained in this article elsewhere on the Web.

To amend your article and have it published:

  • Remove any content that may exist elsewhere online
  • Add as much additional original content as possible

Don't Post Copies; Post the Real Thing


Helpful Tips

  • If you are migrating content from another site to HubPages, wait at least a few hours after you have removed the content from its original home before publishing it on HubPages.
  • If your article is entirely original but still being moderated for duplicate content, it might be because it contains quotes or phrases that appear many times in similar types of content (e.g. recipes, religious articles) and is also short. To resolve the duplicate issue, add as much additional original content as possible.
  • You may publish content that exists elsewhere in print (e.g. content of a book you published); the content simply cannot exist elsewhere online.

Please Don't Violate Others' Copyright


The Article Has Received a DMCA Notification

If you receive an email about a Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice, we have been notified by a copyright holder that your article violates their copyright.

Because of this email, your article has been identified as a possible violation of our Terms of Use. In order to have it republished, you must remove all content that you do not have the legal right to use. If you believe that the takedown notice has been filed in error, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has provisions for filing a counter claim.

Have you received a DMCA complaint because of an image you did not properly use? If so, we strongly recommend visiting our guide to proper image use so that you can save yourself the trouble of this happening in the future (and also discover some great resources for images you can use without violating others' copyright).

Should you need to file your own DMCA claim, visit our Learning Center guide to doing so.

The Article Contains Adult Content

To protect our community of writers, your articles must also comply with the Google AdSense Program Policy on Adult Content, we do not allow adult content.

Below are some examples of prohibited adult content (this should not be interpreted as an exhaustive list of what is prohibited). If you have written an article with any of the following criteria, it will be unpublished and labeled as Adult.

Adult can mean:

  • Sexually explicit writing, including descriptions of sexual acts or practices
  • Nudity (including strategically covered nudity, see-through or sheer clothing, and close-ups of breasts, butts, or genitalia)
  • Lewd or provocative images
  • Images containing the URL of sites with adult content
  • Inappropriate language including excessive profanity, or profanity in the title
  • Content on sexual aids, toys, or enhancements
  • Fetish content or content with sexual intent
  • Mail order brides, escort services, adult or sexual dating
  • Penis or Breast enlargement content or products
  • Links to sites with any of the above

If you article has any of the following, please remove any content or links that fit that description. If you need more clarification, please utilize our Help Wizard.

In many cases, an offending photo is the reason for the moderation. By simply removing the photo, your article could be republished. Articles that are written in a professional style, that use medical terms rather than slang, and that are not attempting to sell dubious treatments or products are more likely to be evaluated favorably. Even if an article is not so much of an edge case that it needs to be unpublished, please be aware that advertising may be disabled on potentially adult content, and on content that touches on certain sensitive topic areas.

Please, Folks! This is a Family Site!


The Article Contains Mature Content

To enable Hubbers to continue to earn from ads on their articles and maintain HubPages as a site that is safe for general audiences, we must unpublish mature content.

Mature content includes:

  • Graphically violent or medical images, videos, or text
  • Excessive use of profanity

Should your article be moderated for containing mature content, please remove anything that fits the above descriptions.

HubPages is Not a Place for Gun, Tobacco, or Alcohol Sales


The Hub Promotes Gambling, Alcohol, Tobacco, or Weapons

So that Hubbers may continue to earn from ads on their work, HubPages does not allow the sale or promotion of gambling, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.

If your article meets one of the following descriptions, it needs to be amended before it can be published again.

  • Gambling content: Articles that promote or link to sites that offer or promote gambling for money are not allowed. Discussions of gambling rules, strategies, or events are generally acceptable.
  • Sales of weapons or ammunition: Articles that promote or contain links to sites that promote the sale of weapons and/or ammunition including firearms, firearm components, fighting knives, BB and stun guns or ammunition, fighting knives, explosives, and fireworks violate our Terms of Use. This prohibition includes products listed in Amazon Capsules. However, you may link to websites that sell hunting equipment, collectable knives, scopes, holsters and antique firearms.
  • Sales of prescription or illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia: Articles that sell, promote the sale, or link to sites that promote the sale of herbal, prescription or illegal drugs, or drug paraphernalia are not permitted on HubPages. This prohibition may include drugs that have medicinal purposes or are decriminalized or legal in some jurisdictions.
  • Sales of beer, hard alcohol or liqueurs: Articles that sell, or link to sites that sell beer, hard alcohol or liqueurs are not allowed. Further, links to alcohol-related sites that require visitors to verify their age are prohibited. You are however free to publish reviews of a particular libation, brewery, winery, or distiller. Cocktail recipes are also fair game. On the subject of home brewing, you can share recipes and techniques, and you can sell related equipment. That said, the sale of simple all-in-one brewing kits is prohibited.
  • Sales of tobacco, including electronic cigarettes: Articles that sell, promote the sale, or link to sites that promote the sale of tobacco products are prohibited. Tobacco products include: cigarettes, cigars, rolling papers, chewing and pipe tobacco, pipes and other smoking devices, and electronic cigarettes. Articles about herbal cigarettes (that contain no nicotine) and quitting or the health effects of smoking are allowed, but they are subject to the restrictions above.
  • Links to sites that contain any of the above: Any links to the above topics is prohibited on HubPages

Do Not Subject Your Readers to Poor Translations!


The Article is Not in English or Was Created by an Article Spinner or Automated Translator

At this time, HubPages is an English-only site and requires that articles are written in a natural, grammatically-correct manner.

  • Articles may not contain text created using an article spinner
  • Articles may not contain text created using an automated translator
  • Articles must be in English

Authors of articles that do not meet these standards may see their work unpublished and may also receive an email from HubPages saying the article was unpublished because it was substandard, unfinished, or unlikely to be useful to readers; possibly generated automatically by a translation or article 'spinning' tool; or not written in English.

To have the article published, please:

  • Translate it into English (not using an automated translator)
  • Amend unnatural or nonsensical sentences
  • Amend grammatical mistakes

Let's Keep Hubbers Out of the Courtroom


The Article Has Legal Issues

Articles that run contrary to our Terms of Use for legal reasons must be unpublsihed. If your article has been identified as a possible violation of our Terms of Use due to legal reasons, it means that we have received a claim by a third party that it may infringe upon their trademark or intellectual property rights, or be defamatory and/or libelous.

You may edit your content to remove the potentially problematic content or, if you would like to dispute this third-party claim, please respond to the moderation email notification we sent with accurate contact information so that we can put you in touch with the complainant.

The Article Contains Personal Attacks or Hate Speech

Personal attacks and hate speech run contrary to our Terms of Use and are therefore unpublished.

If you receive an email stating that your article is in violation of having personal attacks or hate speech, it means that your article contains personal attacks, hate speech, or racist content targeting individuals and/or groups.

The attacks may come in the form of:

  • Something you said within the body of the article
  • Something you said in the comments section
  • Something said by another user in the comments section

To amend the error, simply remove any and all attacks from the body and comments section of the article.


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