Google’s New ‘In-Depth Articles’ Feature Redefining Content Development Strategy

We are largely depending upon Google for every unanswered question today. Be it your household matter or professional matter, the search giant provides you with a huge pool of information in a very short time. However, Google’s Daily Information Needs Study reveals that around 10% of daily information needs require further learning about a broad topic. For this purpose, Google introduced a new feature in August 2013 known as ‘In-depth Articles’. This feature can dig up quality articles which were not ranked better before. We can say this feature is giving a new definition to good content development strategy. Let us take a detailed look at it.

First of all, let us see what ‘In-depth articles’ feature is? It is simply showing a block of three search results at the bottom of the first search engine result page when searching a broad topic. For example, if you search for ‘SEO’, you can view the following results at the bottom part of the first page.

In-depth articles provide you with a detailed, comprehensive view of whatever broad topic you search for rather than give compact and specific information like other search results. As you see in the example, such articles may be months or years old. However, the content in those articles will have much longevity. So, even if your article is too old, it can appear in the top search results if it provides highly relevant or simply evergreen content.

Google gives the following guidelines for getting your pages into ‘In-depth’ articles.

  • Use schema article markup (which provides a collection of HTML tags) for optimizing Meta data including headline and description. This will help your content to get indexed properly so that Google crawler can find it quickly.
  • Claim your content with Google’s authorship markup for increasing CTRs (Click-Through Rates) and visibility.
  • When you split the articles, give rel=next and rel=prev for proper pagination markup. Be cautious about common rel=canonical mistakes.
  • If you use company logo along with your article writing, it will help the users to recognize the source of the article quickly. You can link your website to newly created Google+ Page and choose your logo as default image or you can use organization markup for specifying the logo. This will give a clue to Google that you are using this logo for your website.
  • Avoid subscription-based or register-based access to your content as it is difficult for Google to crawl such content. Always make first click free.

However, if you are not generating relevant, high-quality and compelling content, these guidelines are not going to work for you. Some of these guidelines are not even compulsory for that content which is of great quality. For example, search for ‘Twitter’ in Google and you can get in-depth articles from Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and The New York Times as shown below.

No authorship can be seen on any of the three articles. That shows the power of good content.

To generate compelling content for ‘In-depth articles’, understand your audience first and find out the common questions they ask. Then, research on that topic, organize the facts, determine a proper structure, and write a relevant article by including keywords at a moderate rate and edit them if necessary. Experts say that your content should have generally 2000-5000 words and it should be shared among a large audience group.

If you are looking for long term traffic, try to get your pages in In-depth articles. Even so, the strategy of developing evergreen content and following Google’s guidelines at the same time will definitely be a tedious task for you. Engaging a professional SEO company that provides SEO and content writing services is the best option.

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