In the last week, Google has recently announced the launching of its In-Depth Articles feature. If you perform search queries such as “Lego“, you will see a section at the bottom marked ‘In-depth Articles’. See the screenshot above if you didn’t click the link.
Let’s have a look at how it’ll affect you and how you can get included.
What is An In-depth Article?
The In-depth Articles section is Google’s way of rewarding those who have fully explored a certain subject. According to its own research, 10% of searchers want to read more in-depth articles. By highlighting such articles, Google hopes to give these searchers what they are looking for.
Note that these search results form part of the normal 10 results returned on the first page. This means that cornerstone articles that were not previously ranking might start to appear on the first page.
Although I have not checked this out yet, I believe that In-Depth articles will only appear for search results that Google deems as non-commercial (from its patents we know that Google can classify and separate commercial keywords from non-commercial ones).
How to Get Included in In-depth Articles
Firstly, your article must have topical relevance. This means that it must be relevant to the particular search query.
A quick examination reveals that the new feature seems to favour big brands. You will typically find articles from publishers such as The New York Times, The Guardian etc.
Does that mean you have to be a major publisher in order to appear in the section?
I’m not sure yet. There could be a sort of ‘reputation threshold’ at play here.
Those articles were also around 2,000 – 5,000 words in length, and featured at least one primary image. 2,000 words does sound like a lot of content to write, but it’s really quite manageable. And if you’re really trying to explore a certain topic, I think 2,000 words barely scratches the surface. But you don’t have to listen to me, I learn towards long form copy – I once submitted a 12,000 word essay when the word limit was 5,000. I got penalized for that, in case you were wondering. Meh.
Google also mentions that you will need to use the correct Schema.org markups in your content. There seems to be two types of Schema markups at play here:
- Article Markups
- Organization Markups
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Of course, don’t forget your Google Authorship markups as well.
However, it does highlight a troubling trend though. If you had seen the results page for search ‘Lego’, you would notice that there weren’t many organic search results. Does this mean that organic search results are going to all but disappear one day?