A new feature launched by Google this month to enhance its search results was 'In-depth articles'. These are triggered for a variety of search phrases and pull in articles from 'authoritative' sources across the web (along with a large related image from the article and Google+ profile logo from the source website). Google has outlined some of the elements that websites can look to build on if they want their content to appear for In depth articles:
"These results are ranked algorithmically based on many signals that look for high-quality, in-depth content. You can help our algorithms understand your pages better by following these recommendations:
- use schema.org "article" markup
- provide authorship markup
- rel=next and rel=prev for paginated articles
- provide information about your organization's logo
- and of course, create compelling in-depth content."
Some examples of these results are currently visible in Google.com include:
Typically, In depth articles appear at the bottom of the search results page below the organic results and above 'related searches' - most of the articles tend to be at least 2,000 words in length.
This is how the In-depth articles search results appear for 'economy'
It remains to be seen how widespread the range of search queries will be, as well as the sources that Google pulls these results from. At present, the In depth articles appear to be limited to major publishers and websites. Will smaller sites with quality content signals be allowed to compete with the major websites? It's possible that this is part of a wider Google update related to authorship, encouraging websites to develop quality content tied to their Google+ profile.
It's likely that Google will tweak these results in the months ahead and roll them out across its international search properties; they are only visible on Google.com in English at present.