In the pursuit of bringing in more value to SERPs, rewarding “quality” articles and improving the search experience for users, Google has announced that it would be rolling out a new feature called “In-Depth Articles” to its search results shortly.
What are In-Depth articles, Can you be one?
Like the name suggests, these are articles on a topic identified as more “evergreen, ”“valuable” and “authoritative” by Google (obviously).
Pandu Nayak, from Google suggests that In-depth articles would be more long-lasting pieces of content on mostly broad topics, that would help people in their research. Long lasting pieces that remain relevant towards a topic even after years of publication.
The hint there is that it might take a lot of authority and social validation for your content to be marked as “In-Depth”. Defenitely, quick job blog articles or news pieces might not qualify, but news items have their own share of the search results, anyways.
In essence, Google search results will show a user searching for a broad topic, “categories” of search results that will help in his/her research. For instance, if you search for “election campaigns”, it is very likely that there will be a section featuring the latest news from news agencies related to election campaigns, another category from magazines or authoritative websites related to election campaigns (In-Depth articles), another couple of results featuring reputed “Authors” and then the rest of blogs.
(I haven’t seen an actual search result for insightful articles yet, so the above is only an assumption.)
So, obviously a lot of factors will go into figuring out who’s eligible to show up as an in-depth article (algorithmic driven). However, Google suggests that if you want to make it to the league, there are certain optimization steps that you can do, that will improve your chances of getting into the league of in-dept articles.
Steps to Optimize for In-Depth Articles
1. Implementing Metadata
Schema.org has several markup recommendations that you can incorporate into your website/blog structure. There are several schemas available like Person, Event, Product etc. As for In-depth articles, you need to implement the Articles and Orgainzation markup.
2. Implementing Article Schema
Google suggests that you need to set up the Article schema properly including the following.
- image (note: the image must be crawlable and indexable)
You can do this by using the Structured Data Tool from within Google Webmaster Tools.
2. Implement the Authorship Markup
If you haven’t done it yet, get the authorship markup implemented and connect with your Google plus profile. More instructions here.
3. Implement the Pagination Markup
If you have pagination set up, set up the right markup using the Pagination schema. More instructions here on how to set up pagination right.
4. Organization credentials
If you have a physical address that you can display with your logo and other company details, they would be a good way to show off your authority. But don’t just post it blindly somewhere, use the right markup so that Google knows what to look for. More details here.
1. WordPress Plugin for Implementing Schema to your blog posts/articles – The amazing folks at Raven has a nice plugin that will let you insert any schema that you want into your articles. Download it here.
2. Structured Data markup Helper Tool – Google has its own amazing tool that will help you figure out what structured data is to be added to your webpage. Its as easy as clicking a few buttons and selecting the right options. Find it here.