We've covered HubPages a number of times since Google's Panda update originally launched, as they were one of the victims that lost significant search visibility as a result. Since the update, the site has been making various adjustments to its editorial policy and certain features.
Interestingly enough, a Googler actually posted a guest post to the HubPages blog before the Panda update rolled out globally, providing tips for HubPages writers to put out better content for AdSense. Since the global roll out, HubPages announced changes like the removal of a "news capsule" feature, and tightening up its policy on affiliate links.
Now, HubPages has released an overview of its recently added standards. These include:
- First Capsule Standards: We no longer allow the use of Amazon, eBay, News, RSS, Comment, or Link capsules as first full-width capsules
- Word-to-Product Ratios: For every Amazon or eBay product featured in a Hub, there must be at least 50 words of original text
- Pixelated Images: Pixelated (grainy) images are no longer allowed on Hubs (and keep in mind, watermarked images were never permitted)
- Affiliate Links: We no longer allow Hubs to link (directly or through redirects) to affiliate or commerce sites which are prohibited under the HubPages rules (e.g. Clickbank and sites that sell eBooks, promote dubious offers, contain a lead capture form, redirect users to unwanted websites, or contain pop-ups, pop-unders, or other features that interfere with sight navigation)
- Over-Saturated Topics: If you publish a Hub on a topic that is overly saturated on HubPages.com (e.g. MLM, 6 pack abs, forex, acai berry, etc.), your Hub will be held to a higher editorial standard, and you will not be permitted to include links to affiliate offers (though you are still welcome to include links to trustworthy sites such as major news sites or Wikipedia)
- Duplicated Content: While we used to allow some duplicated content (e.g. if it also existed on your blog and so long as you did not link back to the source), it is now required that all content published on HubPages be unique to the site
HubPages says it will send emails to authors letting them know which "Hubs" require revision, and they'll have two weeks to amend them. Otherwise, they'll be unpublished. However, they can be resubmitted for publication later and will be reviewed again.
They've also added automatic alerts, letting users know when they're at risk of violating one of their guidelines.
Earlier this week, we looked at how Demand Media's eHows is taking content quality more seriously, based on a job posting paying $17-20 per article (up from $10-15) with strict qualifications requiring a degree in business, finance, or law, and “extensive experience in business writing.”