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

Updated on November 4, 2018

Try to Think of Moderated Articles as Works in Progress

Articles that have been moderated are not unpublished because we don't like you; they are unpublished because they may be a danger to your legal safety, our community's reputation, or our community's ability to earn an income from ads.
Articles that have been moderated are not unpublished because we don't like you; they are unpublished because they may be a danger to your legal safety, our community's reputation, or our community's ability to earn an income from ads.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

Why are Articles Moderated?

Articles may be moderated because they don’t meet our publishing standards. Moderation may involve something mild like a warning email from a Moderator, or as involved as the article being temporarily unpublished until it’s fixed then re-submitted for review and approval.

If you don’t understand the email you received, or the warnings visible on the article, or if you’re unclear on what needs to be changed, this guide will give you more information about why your article was moderated and what you need to do so that it can be published again.

Don't worry, a moderated article just needs a bit of work. This guide will help you understand what needs to be done.
Don't worry, a moderated article just needs a bit of work. This guide will help you understand what needs to be done. | Source

Jump to Your Desired Spot!

Click on the links below to jump to a specific explanation of a moderation reason.


Does Your Article Really Need to be Plastered with Promotions?


The Article is Overly Promotional

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

If you receive a warning about your article being overly promotional, or if your article is moderated for it, it means your article has been identified as excessively promoting a third-party site, service, or product.

Overly promotional means that one or more of the following describes your article:

  • It contains two or more links to a single domain or website.
  • It contains an excessive amount of Amazon Capsules or links.
  • It exists solely to promote a third-party site, service, or product.
  • It excessively mentions specific words, phrases, or sentences in an effort to drive traffic to your article or a third-party site, service, or product.
  • It includes a short teaser and a link to "read more" or "continue."
  • It links to a page that contains mostly the same content as your HubPages article.

Don't Load Your Article Down with Promotional Clutter


If you intend to create a great article for your readers, and your article has been moderated for being overly promotional, it’s very easy to fix. Simply make sure that none of the following rules are being broken, make any necessary revisions, then re-submit your article for publication.

Overly Promotional Rules:

  1. Your article can have a MAXIMUM of two links to any one domain. Links in the image source field in the Photo Capsule count toward this limit.
  2. Don’t offer a short teaser or a link to "read more" or "continue." Your article must be complete and shouldn’t require continued reading beyond HubPages or one of the Network sites, and the title should reflect what it’s about.
  3. Your article should contain at least 300 words of text for every product displayed in an Amazon Capsule or an in-line, Amazon text link.

A Note About Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing, or repeating specific words, phrases, or sentences to the point that it detracts from the readability of your article, will also result in an Overly Promotional moderation. Keyword stuffing can also include repeatedly emphasizing words, phrases, or sentences in bold, italics, or with hyperlinks, or including a section with a list or collection of keywords that provide little or no benefit to the reader.

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

If you created a page simply to get 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 exceptions.

If you wrote 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, then re-submit your article for review.

Rule 2: A short teaser or a link to "read more" or "continue" is not allowed. Articles must be complete and their title should reflect what they’re about.

When a reader goes to 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.

Besides being against our Terms of Use, articles that ask users to click on a link to "read more" or "continue" makes for a terrible reading experience.

We have to protect our readers from going to unknown sites that could be harmful. That said, you can share links to sites where visitors might learn more about your article's subject as long as they are not promotional and will supplement your article.

If your article has been moderated because it does not offer all of the information promised by its title, you will need to edit it so that it is complete before you can re-submit it for review. If you previously published the same article or a very similar article on your personal blog or personal site, also remember that HubPages doesn't allow duplicate content. You are not allowed to copy content from your site and then recycle it on HubPages. If you’d like to use previously published content in your article, remove it from where it was first published, then wait at least one week before publishing it on HubPages.

An article's content must reflect its title. If the title does not represent the content, your article may be unpublished until it’s fixed. We have additional rules about deceptive titles below.

Rule 3: Your article should contain at least 300 words of text for every product displayed in an Amazon Capsule or link.

If you received an email regarding your article’s product-to-text ratio, it means that your article has a large number of Amazon Capsules or links compared to the amount of text present. Don’t include more than one Amazon product Capsule or link for every 300 words of original text. We want to make sure that an article is not all products and very little text. Articles with too many products may be moderated as Overly Promotional. We recommend reducing the number of products linked or displayed, or adding your personal experience of owning or using those products to justify their presence.

The Article Contains Duplicate Content

The content you publish on HubPages cannot have been previously published. We have this policy because:

  • HubPages is designed to be a place where people share unique, authentic content.
  • Content syndication or licensing is not allowed on HubPages.
  • Duplicate content can hurt your article's odds of ranking well in search results.

If you publish an article 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 flagged 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 cannot publish it on HubPages. When content is present on multiple sites, search engines devalue the content that has a later publication date. If you previously published content on another site then publish it on HubPages, your article and possibly the entire site will be penalized by search engines.
  • Text that appears in whole or large part on HubPages, or text copied from multiple sources - Cutting and pasting content from a variety of sites, including content from other HubPages articles, is prohibited. Articles need to originate entirely from your thoughts and ideas and must be written in your own words.
  • Text that is substantially similar to another work, including closely paraphrased work (see for more information) - Copying or paraphrasing another article or an article of yours that has been previously published elsewhere is not permitted on HubPages. Each piece should feature truly original content.

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 it means is that we found text very similar to what is contained in your article elsewhere on the Web.

To fix your article and have it published and Featured again:

  • 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 moving 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 is still being moderated for duplicate content, it might be because it contains quotes or phrases that appear many times in similar types of content (i.e., recipes, religious articles), and it may also be too short. To avoid this, add as much additional original content as possible.
  • You may publish content that exists elsewhere in print (i.e., the content of a book you published); the content simply cannot exist elsewhere online.

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. These 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:

  • Your article is empty or too short.
  • There are enough grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors to interfere with your article's readability and credibility.
  • Your article has awkward or difficult-to-read formatting or is written in ALL CAPS.
  • Your article has broken or outdated links or videos.

By adding more content and fixing its grammar, spelling, formatting, or links, you can bring your article up to a standard that will get it published and Featured again.

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

Don't Subject Your Readers to Poor Translations!


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

Currently, HubPages is an English-only site and requires that articles are written in a natural style that recognizes the American English standards of grammar, syntax, and diction.

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

  • Part or all of your article is written in a language other than English.
  • It was created with the aid of a translation tool or an article spinning tool.
  • Homoglyphs are used in place of traditional English language characters.

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 get your article published again, do the following:

  • Translate foreign text into proper English without the aid of an automated translator.
  • Fix any awkward or nonsensical sentences.
  • Fix grammatical errors.

Let's Leave Spam Out of the Picture


The Article is Promoted Through Spam or Abuse of Other Sites

Hubbers who share their work elsewhere online act as ambassadors for the HubPages community, and we want to make sure that our community is represented in a positive light. For this reason, we don’t allow behavior that can hurt the reputation of HubPages and our 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.

This activity may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Spamming comment threads, forums, or profiles, or spamming individuals via email or chat
  • The creation of spammy blogs or spammy pages on other sites to promote your work on HubPages
  • Any article that has been promoted using spam through emails, comments, a blog, a wiki, or any other type of platform that can send bulk unsolicited messages
  • The use of automation tools to do any of the above

Unfortunately, because of the seriousness of this violation, we consider articles that were promoted through abuse to be irreparable; they will not be republished. But if after reading this you think you received this email unfairly, please contact us through our Help Wizard.

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


The Article Promotes Gambling, Alcohol, Tobacco, or Weapons

HubPages does not allow the sale or promotion of gambling, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. This is so that Hubbers can continue to make money from their work.

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

  • Gambling: Articles that promote or link to sites that offer or promote gambling for money are not allowed. Discussions about 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 or text links. Websites that sell hunting equipment, collectible knives, scopes, holsters, and antique firearms are generally acceptable.
  • 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 such as marijuana and its derivatives such as CBD oil, consumables containing marijuana, etc.
  • Sales of beer, hard alcohol, or liqueurs: Articles that sell or link to sites that sell beer, hard alcohol, or liqueurs are not allowed. Links to alcohol-related sites that require visitors to verify their age are prohibited. You are, however, free to publish non-promotional, personal reviews of a particular libation, brewery, winery, or distiller. Cocktail recipes are also fair game. As for home brewing, you can share recipes and techniques, and you can usually sell related equipment, but be aware that we will review such content on a case-by-case basis. 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 smoking or the health effects of smoking are allowed, but they are subject to the restrictions mentioned.
  • Links to sites that contain any of the above: Any links to sites that deal with the above topics are prohibited.

The Article Links to Prohibited Sites

HubPages is a place for writers to contribute useful, high-quality information. To ensure the success of the site, we don’t allow links to sites that are spammy, overly promotional, or promote dubious claims, for example, sites promising six pack abs.

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

  • Sites that prominently feature squeeze pages, lead capture forms, and/or eBook sales pages
  • Sites that contain window confirmation boxes that interfere with site navigation or redirect users to unwanted websites including sites that initiate downloads or change user preferences
  • Sites that deal with a subject matter that contains a high proportion of low-quality or promotional content such as sites that promise dramatic weight loss (i.e., six-pack abs), sites that deal with Forex investments, etc.

Thanks, but We Don't Need More Advice on Getting Six Pack Abs


Examples of Prohibited Sites

HubPages does not allow links to sites promoting the following:

  • Web hosting
  • Getting six pack abs
  • Sales of eBooks
  • Payday loans
  • Services that promise to “get your ex back”
  • Male sexual health or virility
  • Free downloads, especially of content or media protected by copyright

Unfortunately, we cannot give an exhaustive list because the list is always changing and growing. You can easily see which links are problematic by going 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.

To get your article published and Featured again, you will need to remove all links to prohibited sites as well links to any sites that meet any or all of the descriptions above.

The Article Contains Adult Content

Articles must also comply with the Google AdSense Program Policy on Adult Content. HubPages does not allow adult content to protect our community of writers.

Below are some examples of prohibited adult content. This shouldn’t be interpreted as an exhaustive list of what is prohibited. If you’ve written an article containing the following, it will be unpublished and moderated as “Adult.”

Adult content can include:

  • Sexually explicit text, including descriptions of sexual acts or practices
  • Lewd or provocative images including nudity as well as strategically covered nudity, see-through or sheer clothing, and close-up images of breasts, butts, or genitalia
  • Images containing or promoting URLs to sites that contain adult content
  • Inappropriate language that can appear in the title and/or the body of the article including excessive profanity
  • Content on sexual aids, toys, or enhancements
  • Fetish content or content meant to sexually arouse the reader
  • Content that promotes mail order brides, escort services or prostitution, or adult or sexual dating sites
  • Content that promotes penis or breast enlargement products
  • Links to sites that contain or discuss any of the above

In many cases, an offending photo may be the only reason for an adult moderation. Simply remove adult photos to get your article published and Featured again.

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.

Be aware that advertising may be disabled due to adult content or content that references certain topics that may be of a sensitive nature.

If you need more clarification, please contact us through our Help Wizard.

Please Folks, This is a Family Site!


The Article Contains Mature Content

We want Hubbers to continue to make money from their articles, and we want to make sure HubPages is safe for all readers. It’s for these reasons that we must unpublish articles that contain mature content.

Mature content includes:

  • Excessive violence
  • Graphic medical imagery, including photos, images, or videos of surgical procedures
  • Scenes of death, including wartime or “true crime” imagery and animal slaughter
  • Graphic language

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

Please Don't Violate Others' Copyright


The Article Has Received a DMCA Notification

If you receive an email about a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice, it is because a copyright holder has notified us that your article violates their copyright and has been identified as a possible violation of our Terms of Use.

To get your article published and Featured again, 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 counterclaim.

Did you receive a DMCA complaint because of an image you didn’t properly use? If so, we strongly recommend reading through our guide to proper image use so that you can save yourself the trouble of this happening in the future. This guide also lists great resources for images you can use without violating anyone's copyright.

If you need to file your own DMCA claim against another Hubber, see our Learning Center guide on how to do so.

Let's Keep Hubbers Out of the Courtroom


The Article Has Legal Issues

For legal reasons, articles that violate our Terms of Use must be unpublished. This means that we have received a complaint from a third-party claiming that your article may infringe upon their trademark or intellectual property rights, or is defamatory or libelous.

You can remove the potentially problematic content or if you would like to dispute a third-party claim, respond to the moderation email notification you received with your 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 violate our Terms of Use and articles that contain such content will be unpublished.

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

Personal attacks and hate speech may come in the form of one or more of the following:

  • 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 get your article published and Featured again, remove personal attacks and/or hate speech from the article and/or Comments section.

Readers Aren't Very Pleased with Dubious Offers... we do our best to keep them off the site. 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. Articles shouldn't mislead our readers. If you published an article in any of the categories below, and this isn’t an all-inclusive list, your article will most likely be unpublished until you fix it. If you have any questions about what kind of content is allowed on HubPages, check out our Learning Center on how to create high-quality content.

Non-promotional, medical or scientific, or exposé pieces on these subjects may be permitted. Such content is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Examples of Dubious Offers

  • Multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing programs
  • Spellcasting services
  • Medical treatments that the FDA or FTC warn against and/or have found to be fraudulent, including products for dubious weight loss diets and weight loss supplements
  • hCG supplements or injections
  • Cash gifting schemes

The Article Contains a Watermarked or Pixelated Image

Obtrusively watermarked or pixelated images and videos can reduce an author's credibility. Images that are either original or legally-acquired tells your audience that you care about your topic. However, images that are low-resolution, grainy, or pixelated detract from your article’s aesthetic appeal and are prohibited.

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

Fixing an article that has been moderated for having a watermarked or pixelated image is easy. We have two recommendations:

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

Example of a Watermarked Image


Example of a Pixelated Image


A Note About Watermarked Videos

While videos with large watermarks are not allowed, videos with a television station or network watermark or small logo at the bottom corner are the exception.

The Internet Doesn't Need More of These... we'll thank you not put them in your articles! we'll thank you not put them in your articles! | Source

The Article Contains Unrelated Links or Products

If your article has been moderated for containing unrelated links or products, it means that you have linked to sites or products that have nothing to do with your article.

Unrelated links and products can include:

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

If you write an article 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 recommend, for example, 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 in your article.

Your Other HubPages 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 article in question. This is often done in the form of link lists at the end of an article. These links, though they may be to articles by the same author, still count as unrelated. Only link to articles that are directly related to the content of an article’s topic.

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

To get an article that has been moderated for having unrelated products or links published and Featured again, you will need to do one or more of the following:

  • Remove any Amazon Capsules or links that are not directly related to the content of your article, for example, any products that are not explicitly mentioned in your article.
  • Remove any links that are not directly related to your article’s topic.

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

The Article Is Purely Personal

HubPages is not a traditional blog site where you can publish journal-type entries. Articles can include personal experience, but they must also be interesting, useful, and valuable to people who may not know you.

If your article has been moderated for being purely personal, you can bring it in line with our publishing standards by doing one or all of the following:

  • Change the title so that your article is informative and reads less like a journal entry. For example, change "My Dog House Disaster" to "How to Build a Structurally Sound Dog House,” and add the appropriate instructional information to match the new title.
  • Add concrete facts, tips, guidance, and information that is easy for readers to read and understand. For example, descriptive headings help, as do bulleted and numbered lists.

Personal anecdotes and experience can add great value, and we welcome them; they simply have to be within a context that adds value to the article and provides readers with information.

Please Save Your Personal Journal Entries for a Personal Blog


The Article has a Deceptive Title or Capsule

If the content of your article does not match its title, or it uses a capsule inappropriately, it may be considered deceptive. Some leeway may be given for particularly clever titles, or articles that fall into categories like Humor, Creative Writing, or Poetry. However, if you're not trying to be clever or creative, please choose a title that accurately describes what your article is about.

There are two ways to fix an article that has been moderated for having a deceptive title or using a capsule inappropriately:

  1. Change the title so that it more accurately reflects the content of your article.
  2. Change the content of your article to match its title.

Some of our capsules are specific. Here are a few things to remember:

  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 display a location that is directly relevant to your article. Do not leave it on the default location (San Francisco).

Don't 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 category or sub-category that best fits your article. We moderate articles that are not properly categorized because they can degrade the value of topic pages and show up as recommendations on unrelated articles. This ultimately hurts your article's odds of 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 category. 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.

When categorizing photos or poetry, please remember the following:

  • If your article consists mostly of photos, search for the word “Photos” in our categorization tool. You’ll find sub-categories such as Entertainment > Photos & Videos and Arts, and Design > Photography > Art Photo Essays.
  • Articles that contain poetry must be categorized within the Books, Literature, and Writing > Poems and Poetry category.

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


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