How To Recycle Your Niche Blog’s Posts

How To Recycle Your Niche Blog’s Posts

One of the challenges with niche marketing blogs is keep your content fresh. You can add new content from time to time but the lack of activity will slow down visits from the all important Googlebot. Well, there’s a plugin for WordPress that’s available that will help you recycle old posts, Dagon Design’s Scheduled Post Shift Plugin. I’ve been trying this plugin out for a few weeks on some of my niche blogs and I like what I’m seeing from it so far so I wanted to do a quick post on it in case you haven’t encountered it yet.

What It Does

This nifty plugin automatically goes in and changes the post date of the oldest post to the current date, essentially moving it to the front of the blog. Not only that but in doing so it pings all of the services you have in your blog’s “Update Services” list. This makes it appear as if you’re actively adding new content to your blog.

The plugin allows you to set an hour interval to the post shift. It also allows you to select a particular category of posts to rotate or you can rotate all of the posts on your blog. Installation is rather easy, just follow the instructions on Dagon Design’s site.

Caveats and Recommendations

Caution Guy

As you can probably guess, this isn’t a good plugin to use if you’re using date based permalinks such as I’m using here on OpTempo. On most niche blogs you should either be using category or post title based permalinks since this is better for SEO purposes. Even worse, if you use it on a blog with date based permalinks you will change the URL of the post, thus losing your Google indexing for the post and perhaps raising red flags with Google.

I’d recommend using this plugin on a niche blog that has at least a month’s worth of posts, roughly 30-50. This can allow for a nice and natural rotation of somewhere between 12 to 24 hours. If you have a niche blog with a lot of posts, for example a few hundred, a faster rotation of about 4 hours might work. I’d be careful about working the Googlebot too hard though.

Lastly, if you have a niche blog with time sensitive information, such as celebrity antics or current movie reviews, this plugin won’t be for you. It will work best for niche blogs on topics that don’t change very often, for example, home repair or legal services. I’m also going to give it a try on a blog that’s using PHPBay to see how it works there.

Have you tried out this plugin yet? If so, what did you think?


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Comment by Link Building Bible
2008-05-06 19:29:18

Won’t google be able to find the footprint of this plugin on a blog, and give it a nice Google smack for trying to trick it? How does it work when you add new content?

Comment by jfc
2008-05-06 20:11:22


I don’t think that it will be a problem if you don’t go ping crazy with it. If you started pinging the ‘bot every hour it might be a problem. Just doing it every day or so shouldn’t raise any flags. That’s also why I’d suggest only doing it on a blog with at least 30 days of content.

The only thing that might be a footprint would be that it would happen at the same time everyday with the same pattern of posts. While some randomization in the plugin would be nice, just manually breaking up the flow every so often should be fine.

So far as adding new content, it would be added to the list at the top and would move down until it recycled as well.

Comment by Robert
2008-05-07 00:51:33

Wouldn’t Google figure out that the main content on the page isn’t changing? It seems like this would get the crawler going, but if you’ve already got something like phpBay installed then it’s already going to be aware you’ve got continually changing / updated content anyways.

Comment by jfc
2008-05-07 08:15:52

Hi Robert,

The idea is to ping Google Blog search and other update services regularly to give the illusion of activity and insure frequent crawls. Having other auto refreshing elements like PHPBay, Ad Rotator, Related Posts and so forth would feed into this as well. The goal is to have what looks like a very active website to bots and search visitors although it’s actually on auto-pilot.

Comment by Vinny Lingo
2008-05-07 18:02:36

This plugin is exactly what I needed for a project I’m putting together. THANK YOU so very much for posting about it. It can be a pain finding plugins sometimes.

2008-05-08 11:40:14

Yeah — Not sure about this. I always feel that playing these games super conservatively is the best way to go, in the end. Trying to game the system can lead to lowered page rank, sandboxing, or whatever — none of which is good. Isn’t it just plain easier to add a short piece of content or a entry with a link to another story, for the sake of having fresh content daily?

Comment by jfc
2008-05-08 12:09:04

Well Green,

Google has defined the game and we’re all just players in it. One of the main things that Google values is steady activity over a long period of time. There are several strategies that work, some manual and some automated, and there is no indication that Google penalizes sites that do automated minor updates to existing pages, even for something as small as a date change.

As long as your content would pass a visual content inspection by a Wii Playing Cappuccino Sipper, uh, Google employee, recycling should not be a problem. Now, if you’re dealing in auto-generated nonsense Markov pages, it would be a different matter.

Also, I wouldn’t recommend this plugin for a social blog where you had regular readers in addition to search visitors. However, there are other, similar, plugins that cycle links to featured articles to the front page and so forth that would work well in this context.

Comment by trucking
2008-05-16 14:26:44

Sorry if this sounds just like the other comments, I’ve been playing with the plugin for about a week and was wondering if there was a problem with duplicate content. An old post being posted as new, if google saw that as a different post, there’s already a post that looks just like it.

is that not an issue or am I over-thinking it?


Comment by jfc
2008-05-16 15:08:59

Hi Wayne,

It’s the same page so far as Google is concerned. What it looks like is that you’ve updated an existing page which brings Googlebot running, most of the time.

Comment by martialarts
2008-06-27 09:47:03

Hi all great information here and good thread to comment on.

Can I ask though - how did you get this picked up and into google news?

Very impressive that this blog is syndicated through Google and is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

Comment by jfc
2008-06-27 10:30:05

Hi Martial Arts,

I don’t know how it would have been picked up for Google News. It isn’t something I actively tried to do. I’d be interested to know what search terms you used to have it come up.

On your Martial Arts site, I’d recommend that you focus it more tightly on selling the Martialarm product. With the Adsense and other links you distract users from the objective, buying the item. If you want to promote multiple products, use a blog and feature products in your posts.

Comment by Cect 168 Phones
2008-07-08 06:49:14

I’m going to have to give this plug-in a try. I have a couple of niche marketing AdSense blogs which are starting to drop in revenue slowly, and this might be just the shot in the arm that they need.

Comment by TheMainer
2008-07-29 06:27:51

It will be interesting to see how this works out. I hope it doesn’t cause bloggers to stop creating new posts and just rely on old ones.

Comment by jfc
2008-07-29 06:42:59

Hi Mainer,

So far this has worked out well on the blogs I’ve tried it on.

Remember that this technique is for niche blogs where the content will be pretty static most of the time. Of course, it doesn’t stop you from adding new articles along the way. You wouldn’t want to use it on a social blog, a current events trends blog or some other types of blogs with timely information.

Comment by Feliway
2008-12-24 01:50:50

Sadly, this plugin doesn’t seem to work for more recent versions of WordPress and there have been no updates. :(

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Pieter Christiaens
2008-10-15 09:48:46

hello Frank!

Is this plug-in recommended for a niche blog with about 10 posts?

The theme I have has a recent posts column on the sidebar with the 10 last posts. So this way, only the order of the excerpts of the post would be changed.

Would it still be useful?

Comment by jfc
2008-10-15 11:01:55

Hi Pieter,

I’ve only used it on blogs with 30 or more posts but I’d guess that it would work OK. You might want to adjust the rotation time to a longer period like 5 to 7 days or so though.

Comment by Pieter Christiaens
2008-10-15 13:30:30

thank you for the tip!I will be making more posts on that blog in the near future, so this plug-in will be useful for sure.

So it would be correct to say that this plug-in creates a little Markov effect on the WordPress blog?

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