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Google launches in-depth results

Recently, some Google users have seen a separate section of search results devoted to in-depth articles on the topic they are researching. This front-page real estate includes thumbnails, article summaries and source logos, according to Search Engine Watch. SEO professionals have long discussed Google's algorithms as ways to reward high-quality content, and this most recent feature is yet another step in that direction.

In-depth results have appeared so far for only 7 percent of users, according to a report by Moz. However, Google is expected to continue to roll out this feature. Those articles that appear in in-depth results are over 2,000 words and mostly from large publications like The New York Times. An in-depth box tends to appear most often for shorter searches of one or two words, though longer strings of keywords also brought up a box in Moz's testing. Notably, promotional content does not appear to qualify for in-depth listings at this time. As more brands become de facto publishers, however, there is room in their content strategy for non-promotional evergreen articles, which may well make an appearance in the new search results.

Aiming for inclusion in in-depth results
Companies whose content marketing strategy is extensive should strongly consider producing articles that fit the observed profile of in-depth results. Particularly in specific niches, this may fuel inclusion in the new search results. Evergreen content, or content that is not time-sensitive and has a long shelf life, is what brands should aim to produce. Articles must be long and, of course, in-depth. They should be informative but not promotional, and it may benefit businesses that deal in a specific area to create very specialized content.

The way content is presented and coded also seems to have some impact on whether it will be included in Google's in-depth results. Moz recommends businesses use article markup on their evergreen content, as well as authorship markup. Connecting content to a Google Plus account may also be a good strategy. Furthermore, paginated articles need to be handled properly, and websites with pay walls should allow some free clicks.

While inclusion in Google's in-depth results is not likely for promotional content, brands can expand their marketing strategies to publication. This will establish thought leadership and drive traffic to a company's website, even without pitching for a product or service within an article itself. Visibility on its own is worthwhile in online marketing, and Google's in-depth search results can provide that.

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.