• ericwarncke

    (@ericwarncke)


    I run a website for a law firm and I recently noticed that some of our competitors were producing content at an astounding super-human rate.

    I was confused about how this could be possible, so I started looking into how I could do something similar. I did some digging and initially couldn’t find anything that would do what I needed, so I was even thinking about custom programming the entire thing myself. Fortunately, I thought about it some more and did another search, this time including the word “RSS” in my searches, and I immediately found the WPeMatico plugin by the company Etruel. I think they’re based out of Argentina, but Facebook says they are headquartered in Florida.

    I looked into the specs of the plugin and couldn’t believe this was exactly what I needed. I bought the “PERFECT” version of the plugin (which comes bundled with some useful extra features) and was able to figure out how to set it up in about 5 minutes.

    I will tell you every good thing about the plugin that I can think of, and then a few negatives that I experienced along the way and how I solved those issues.

    GOOD STUFF

    • The app does what it says on the label – it fetches RSS or XML feeds from other websites (that you provide) and republishes them on your website.
    • You can also set up multiple “campaigns” for different topics you may want to publish on your site. For example, you can start one campaign and say you want all articles from the state of Texas every hour that are about “Tennis”. Then you can make a 2nd campaign that fetches every article in Oklahoma every 12 hours about “Soccer”. And so on and so on.
    • There are two settings pages – one for the “global settings” and another for each individual campaign that you set up.

    In the global settings you can do things like:

    • Store all images that are fetched on your server so you never lose them if the image is ever deleted from the source website. (This can make your server storage fill up quickly if you aren’t careful, so calculate if this will impact your hosting costs before proceeding)
    • Fetch the first image from the article and automatically set that as the featured image for that post
    • Assign words to categories. For example, if you want every article that has the word “soccer” in it to be in a category called “Soccer” in your WordPress posts, this can do it for an infinite number of words.
    • You can rewrite the blogs after fetching them if you want to try to avoid duplicate content. I can assure you that even if you turn this option off and you republish the original article exactly as it is, you will still sometimes get ranked very high on Google, or even in the #1 position. Don’t ask me why, but hundreds of my non-rewritten republished blogs have been ranking well and raking in clicks. Some of them end up being complete duds too, but once this thing is pumping out thousands of articles for you every month you too will begin to notice more traffic and leads coming to your site from the winners. I’m unsure if the rewritten or non-rewritten blogs perform better, but I’m going to try that experiment soon and hopefully report back here.
    • You can remove any HTML tag or HTML attribute that you wish from the imported articles. For example, many news websites frequently have advertisements inserted directly into their content and these are typically wrapped in <aside> tags. Being able to remove all of those is incredible. I didn’t realize this option existed at first and I was actually manually editing thousands of articles one by one to remove these unwanted tags. That was very painful. This is around the time that I realized these guys have thought of every little detail. Discovering this kind of thing feels like poetry in motion or falling in love for the first time. It’s a beautiful thing to know that you’re not a prisoner to the machine anymore.
    • You can set a timeout so if anything ever goes wrong with a fetch, you won’t lock up your website forever. I think 5 minutes is perfect for this.
    • For scheduling your fetches, you can choose to use the Alternate_WP_Cron function if your hosting company disables the primary WordPress Cron. Either option is required for the plugin to work, so its nice that they added this backup to guarantee it will work on almost any hosting service.
    • You can remove the WPeMatico credits that are normally found on the imported blogs. I hate cluttering my content with any kind of superfluous information because I think it will cause Google to trust my website less, so I love that I can have a clean article with this setting.
    • There are a bunch of other options in the global settings, but they are less important, so I won’t bother mentioning all the rest, but its clear that they have solved many problems over the years with the niche options they have in there. Very cool and even a little overwhelming at first, but they have tooltip explanations for every setting, so it’s not so bad figuring out what everything does.

    When you have any of the paid versions of the plugin, they offer some additional options that are very useful, such as:

    • Enabling keyword filtering. This is absolutely required for this plugin. You can choose to include all articles that contain the word “running shoes” and exclude any of those articles that contain the word “cleats”. (Maybe your company only sells running shoes without cleats?) There are endless applications for this. You will frequently find that the plugin will fetch irrelevant articles, so you can use this tool to widdle out irrelevant blogs with careful keyword selections.
    • Word count filtering. You can choose to never publish any articles that are less than 75 words, which is about about two paragraphs. Or you can tell it to not publish any articles that are over 8,000 words, which is really quite lengthy.
    • You can choose to remove all links from articles so you aren’t linking out to any competitors or revealing who the source of your article was.
    • Image filters. You can choose to remove individual images on a blog if they are too big or too small. For example, some news website will include a 64×64 or 32×32 icon directly in every article, so it’s nice to be able to remove those so your article looks cleaner. Or you can prevent any image bigger than 2000 pixels from appearing so the load speed of that article doesn’t get too slow.
    • Delete until the end of the line. Let’s say every article you import has a “related articles” blurb thrown into the middle of the article. You can choose to remove any line that begins like this: “RELATED:”, and boom, no more having to delete those manually from each article. This can be applied to Copyrights, All Rights Reserved, “Written by ” lines, advertisements, and so many other things that you don’t want in your articles.
    • Random rewrites. You can choose to use synonyms for certain words if you want to try to avoid duplicate content even further. For example, you can change “gun” into “weapon”, if you want to come off more family friendly. Or you can change “attorney” to “lawyer” if you are trying to target keywords with attorney in it instead of their lawyer variations.
    • There are other cool options here too, but I will move on to the next area of global settings.
    • In the synchronizer settings you can choose how long you want the fetching process to take before it times out. It is recommended you set this to 300 or 600 and never to 0, which will never timeout. This means that if there is an error in any of your RSS feeds and you can’t fetch them for some reason, your website will lock up because it is constantly using its resources to search for something that has broken and disconnected forever. (or until you contact support or backup your site)
    • If your article failed to automatically create a featured image, you can choose a backup option to get a featured image from Google or from Flickr. You can also set a backup image to be used as the featured image in case all other options fail. I created a Photoshop image for my backup featured images and it probably fails to properly fetch a featured image about 50% of the time and has to use my backup image.
    • You can activate your product in the global settings too. You first have to go to etruel.com and log in to your account, then go to “Support”, then click on “License” where you will be prompted to type your website(s) URL. If that saves successfully, you next have to paste in your Product key (which you would have gotten in your original sign up email from Etruel after you bought it) in the backend of WordPress in the “Licenses” tab in the WPeMatico global settings. There are multiple fields where you have to paste in that license key. You have to do this in order to update your plugin when new versions are released.
    • There is a system status option that prints out a debug log that you can send to Etruel support if you ever have any problems.

    In the individual campaign settings you can do things like:

    • delete all content after a word or phrase. For example, if you see a lot of blogs that end with “Copyright” you can choose to delete everything starting from that word until the end of the article.
    • You can remove the final instance of any HTML tag as well. For example, if you have an HTML button that gets imported at the end of many of your articles that says “Submit a correction”, you can choose to delete the final <button> tags from every article. You could also do this for <aside> tags, or <iframe> tags, or whatever unwanted tags you see.
    • You can flip paragraphs to try to further reduce duplicate content. For example, the 1st paragraph would swap with the 2nd paragraph (so now #2 is at the top of the article). You can also swap paragraphs 3 and 4, and 5 and 6, and so on, until you run out of paragraphs. I think this makes a lot of articles nonsensical, so I don’t use this.
    • You can enter in as many websites as you like that you want to use as sources and the plugin will automatically detect if the RSS or XML feed is usable or not. About 80% of websites tested worked for me.
    • You can schedule how often you want to check your feeds for new blogs that match your criteria. For example, you can check every 10 minutes, or every hour, or once a month, or anything you want.
    • You can also have the plugin re-check old blogs to see if they have been updated since the original fetch and update those articles on your website accordingly. You can also schedule how often you want this re-check to occur.
    • You can add the “nofollow” tag to all links in your fetched articles (unless you turned on the “strip links” option earlier)
    • You can assign those Word to Category options that we discussed above. For example, any article that has the word “soccer” in it, gets assigned to the Soccer category in WordPress.
    • You can add in your positive and negative keyword filters. For example, include all articles that discuss “Electric Vehicles”, but exclude any that have the word “Tesla” in it. This may be useful if you hate Tesla, or want to never write about your competitors, etc.
    • You can assign categories to the fetched blogs so they don’t get labeled something incorrectly.
    • There is a lot of other stuff in the campaign settings, but my hands are getting tired from typing so much.

    Now, here are a few things I didn’t like, or problems that I encountered along the way.

    NOT SO GOOD STUFF

    • I don’t think English is the native language of the development team, because all throughout the plugin there are spelling and grammatical errors that sometimes make things confusing. I’d like to be able to provide updated text for a lot of the plugin. They really should “localize” the plugin properly.
    • I had a situation where I changed some settings on the plugin and it suddenly stopped working. I asked for help from the plugin developer and my hosting company, and we were trying different things to fix it, but it mysteriously starting working again about 17 hours later without me touching anything. I have no idea how it broke, or how it fixed itself, but that’s what happened.
    • I have about 30 feeds that I pull from in one of my campaigns, and sometimes I get 20 or 30 articles fetched that meet my criteria, and sometimes I get 0. I am always terrified that I screwed something up when this happens and it makes me very paranoid. It would be nice if they would distinguish between “The plugin is broken” and “We were unable to fetch any articles that match your criteria for the last fetch”. I really don’t know when there might be an issue, or if its actually possible that nothing was viable to import (meaning I have to manually check the original feeds to see if any of the articles really did match my criteria and why the plugin might have missed them and then update the settings and pray for the best).
    • There is a lot of irrelevant articles that appear, and I have been battling for a while to reduce these, but new examples pop up all the time that I’ve never encountered before. I have had to delete or modify at least 25% of all articles ever imported. That is over 1,000 articles I have had to manually inspect and take action on. This is quite laborsome and it would be nice if there was an easier way to reduce irrelvant or spammy blogs being imported.
    • Sometimes blogs are just blank when they import. The headline will look normal, but when I look at the article, its just a blank white space. I don’t even have the normal footer of my website on these pages because they mess up the whole HTML below them as well due to missing closing HTML tags. I always have to manually delete these, and I can’t tell from the backend of WordPress that it was a failed fetch. I’d like to have a way to detect if an article failed to fetch properly and try again before deleting them if the 2nd try doesn’t work.
    • There are frequent duplicates that appear in my fetches. Sometimes they have the exact same headline and the same URL, but each successive repost has a “-2” or “-3”, etc. at the end of it, going up until no more duplicates are left. Sometimes they are just multiple websites writing about the same thing with slightly different headlines. I’d like a system that can detect if something has the exact same headline, or the same body copy, or a slightly reworded headline and not publish any duplicates that are detected.
    • About 50-80% of the time the plugin fails to get a featured image for a blog, meaning it will pull my backup image that I created. Despite the numerous methods that the plugin has to get featured images, they all seem to fail often.
    • If your search criteria is too broad and is trying to fetch hundreds or thousands of articles each time it runs, you will experience very slow loading times when updating or fetching. You might even time out and get a failure. You should try to experiment and see how many blogs you can fetch at once before the load times get unbearable for you or crash the process. I like to get about 10 or 20 per hour (240 to 480 new articles per day) to ensure things don’t spiral out of control. This is such a powerful tool I think someone could easily mess something up if they aren’t thoughtful about the consequences of their decisions.
    • There is so much stuff going on with the plugin, that sometimes I take notes about every little change I make, or I record my screen while I am working so I can reference the video later if I ever think I caused a problem.
    • Although this is probably very rare, I encountered a problem earlier today with chat support on the etruel website. The person I was talking with about an issue kept having their internet disconnected over and over again. Every time this would happen I would get auto-transferred to a different chat representative who would tell me to hold 5 minutes while they tried to reconnect me with my previous agent (the one who keeps getting disconnected over and over again). This happened probably 4 or 5 times and it added about a half hour onto the time I normally would have spent on this type of chat. It would have been better to keep me with one of the new representatives.
    • When I first installed the plugin, I didn’t realize you had to activate the License on both the etruel website and the global settings, so I couldn’t download the newest version of the plugin for a couple weeks because I had no idea why it wouldn’t update. There was no real instructions or notification that I had to do this at all.
    • There is a general lack of instructions or videos surrounding the plugin, so it feels a little bit stumbling around in the dark sometimes, but in truth everything is laid out logically and makes just enough sense for you to quickly move through the settings and get it working. I wanted to make this extremely long review to help potential buyers be better informed about what it’s really like using the tool, good and bad.

    The impact on my website

    Since installing the plugin, every week has been a new all time high for me in terms of traffic. We are also getting more leads and every day we are gaining new keywords that we rank for in Google. I still combine this with the well-researched articles that we write the old-fashioned way because those articles rank the best and make up about 80-90% of my traffic, but this additional boost of 10-20% extra traffic is fantastic and I hope that percentage keeps growing. This “bonus traffic” that I am getting is also showing Google that my website is more active and authoritative because we’re able to create that astonishing volume that has been working for our competitors for so long. I feel like we are competing neck and neck again with our competitors and it’s an awesome feeling.

    The bottom line

    WPeMatico is an incredibly powerful tool that has the capability to quickly increase your website’s traffic, leads, authority, backlinks, and keyword rankings. It is also inexpensive, has great support, and tons of options to get your imported content looking just the way you want it. The team has clearly understood the need for such a tool and its obvious how much time and effort they put into every aspect of the plugin. Even though I mentioned a few negatives, I choose to overlook those things because I know they are all temporary issues that will be solved by the team (just like all the hundreds of other issues they have figured out) and the myriad of pros drastically outweigh the few issues I have had.

    Although this plugin is far from “set it and forget it”, it is a fun experience to change your settings and see the little improvements every time it runs. I’m very close to getting everything exactly the way I want it, and it has been a blast figuring things out all by myself.

    So, that’s all I have to say about the plugin for now. I’m going with 5 stars because of how impressed I am by this tool and the incredible impact it has made on my website so far. I would definitely recommend this for just about any website because it works.

    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by ericwarncke.
    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by ericwarncke. Reason: little typos
    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by ericwarncke. Reason: wrong word
    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by ericwarncke. Reason: wrong word
    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by ericwarncke. Reason: further clarification
    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by ericwarncke. Reason: typo
    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by ericwarncke. Reason: typo
Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Plugin Author etruel

    (@etruel)

    Hi ericwarncke!

    Wow, we are absolutely amazed by the length and depth of your review of our plugin! We want to express our sincere thanks to you for taking so much time and effort to share your experiences and detailed opinions.

    Your dedication in writing this review does not go unnoticed by us, and we want you to know how much we value every word you have shared. It is truly inspiring to see how much you have invested in providing constructive and helpful feedback.

    We greatly appreciate your commitment and suggestions, and we are committed to using them to further improve our plugin. Your contribution is invaluable to us and drives us to strive even harder to provide the best possible experience for our users.

    Please feel free to point out any errors in the English text. Your help in this regard would be greatly appreciated. You can create a ticket on our site for that. Or we can pass you the .pot file with the English strings for localization, so we would then correct it inside the plugin.

    Thank you once again for your incredible feedback and for being part of our community!

    Best regards,
    Esteban at etruel.com

    Thread Starter ericwarncke

    (@ericwarncke)

    Thank you so much for your reply! It makes me happy to know it was helpful. I would be very happy to edit that .pot file for you and get it all corrected. Can you email it to me at ericwarncke@gmail.com if possible? I’m happy to help. You guys are doing a fantastic job!

    Plugin Author etruel

    (@etruel)

    Thanks, I’ll contact you later. You can delete the email address to avoid spams 😉

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