WP Snowball v1.5.2 (You’ll want to see this)

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.


 Auto Tagging

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:

  1. GoArticles
  2. iSnare
  3. Buzzle
  4. Article Dashboard
  5. Article City
  6. 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 ūüôā

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:

  1. Vimeo
  2. Youtube
  3. Flickr
  4. Imageshack

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.

WP Indexer

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.



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