There’s been a lot of work done on WP Snowball recently. It’s had some substantial upgrades. I’ll touch on some of the more interesting ones, then show you the full change log at the bottom. As usual, you can grab the latest version from the members area.
WPSB is now a really, really powerful plugin. There’s a case study I’m in the middle of, and it’s getting plenty of hands-free traffic for a blog. I’ll be writing more about that when it’s complete…
Snowball growth visualization
I’ll say right away – it looks really cool. You have to see it in action to get the full effect. But animations aside, this helps to clear up what I saw as the biggest issue with WPSB. Every single person I’ve spoken to who was using WPSB for the first time, had trouble grasping exactly what was happening behind the scenes. And that question is answered by the interactive graph now on the dashboard.
It shows the last snowball’s growth progress. You probably already know that WPSB generates new posts (at the rate you choose) when someone lands on a new post on your blog. Then each of those posts generates more, and so on. The arrows show the which posts link to where (via the in-post-style blocks). The red arrows indicate active growth points on your blog. So the posts at the end of red arrows will, when a human lands on the post, generate more content and grow the snowball chain.
Here are a couple of examples I took from the test blogs. The numbers are WordPress post IDs, and you can click any of them to view the full post.
If you check this option in the settings, all new posts are auto tagged with between 3 and 10 high quality keywords, found from the post content. A very useful addition, as each new tag creates a new WP page that often ranks and pulls extra traffic.
6 New Content Sources
Here’s the list of new additions:
- Article Dashboard
- Article City
- Article Snatch
This brings the total up to 12 sources now. And the benefit here is that you will pretty much never run out of content. I did a content pool check on all the sources, and WPSB now has over 2 BILLION articles to pull from. You keywords will certainly be there 🙂
4 Media Sources
2 image sources, and 2 video. It was a feature gap in WPSB, as the posts looked a bit plain without them. Also bounce rate drops by adding media like this, which is always appreciated. The new sources are:
If you want more, just let me know on the feature suggestion board (see below).
Up To 55.03% Content Uniqueness
This isn’t something new that’s been added, but I’ve got to put it in here because most people don’t know this.
WPSB doesn’t spin content. I’m thinking about adding integration with some popular APIs so you can enter account details into Snowball, but you can already make things pretty unique with just a vanilla install…
By combining WPSB’s “Info Stuffer” feature with the standard in-post-styles (that’s how posts are linked together – by including a snippet of one post in another), you get something special. Because new content is being added to every post on your blog, it makes every post much more unique – without having to change the original content. The addition of related, quality text makes the overall article unique. Which is really important for autoblogging now.
A quick note about how this works with WP Indexer. I had both WPSB and WPI one a test blog and they’re the perfect combo. I was pretty shocked at the stats package tracking this blog. I’ll say mpre when I’ve completed the tests, but you won’t be disappointed when using these two together.
Here are the recent releases you probably haven’t seen yet…
(I wanted to wait until I’d got all the updates done instead of pestering you every day)
27th September 2013
Update Clarified many tooltips
Update Snowball graph is destroyed on other tabs, to avoid slow downs
Update Internal search keyword optimization
Update Added a min definition length of 50 chars, to remove short ones
Bug Fix Much better paragraph detection now, so no more huge chunks of text
26th September 2013
Update We now remove html from style snippets, to avoid cutting off tags
Update Changed wording of title on snowballs tab for clarity
Bug Fix Corrected tooltip text on dashboard
25th September 2013
Feature Added Latest Snowball graph to dashboard
Update Moved cron url from below post to debugging box
Update Made runtime log error warning clearer and better formatted
Update Softened the snowballs table css colors
Update Added more max levels to settings tab
Bug Fix Stopped info stuffer adding extra definition at end of post
Bug Fix Stopped images and videos being removed when stripping safe html
Bug Fix Fixed link removal logic
24th September 2013
Feature Auto tagging option for all new posts
Feature Media Source: Vimeo
Feature Media Source: Youtube
Feature Media Source: Flickr
Feature Media Source: Imageshack
Update Better paragraph detection for style insertion
Bug Fix Now correctly appending excess snowballs to end of post
Bug Fix Changed the definition API endpoint as the old one closed
23rd September 2013
Feature New content source: GoArticles
Feature New content source: iSnare
Feature New content source: Buzzle
Feature New content source: Article Dashboard
Feature New content source: Article City
Feature New content source: Article Snatch
Update Now showing in-post-debugging box by default
Update Better snowball number count on Snowballs tab
Update Auto detecting cron timeouts, and shows error message
Update Clarified many error and status messages
Update Better log messages for failed content collections
Update Added more protection for directory snoopers
Bug Fix Overhauled content collection system + fixed broken sources
14th September 2013
Update Improved keyword ranking using weighted title keywords
Update Added random core kw to Google search for relevancy increase
Update Added second-into-script nums next to runtime log
Bug Fix Stopped info stuffing from exiting on certain servers
Bug Fix Properly formatted list of license domains
Call for help!
During the above feature sprint, all but 1 of the feature suggestions are now cleared. The board was looking pretty empty, so I added a selection of new things to vote on. I’d appreciate it if you could take a few seconds and click on what you’d like added next. Or submit your own ideas of course.
So thanks for using WP Snowball – I’d really impressed with how it’s looking so far.