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Quick Guide to Google In-Depth Articles

February 25, 2014 2 Comments


In-depth articles have surfaced during several client conversations over the past couple of months. For others who may be curious, here’s a guide to get you started.

On August 6, 2013, Google announced the release of in-depth articles in search results.

Research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic…”

Having been live now for over six months, it’s likely you’ve seen these in-depth articles showing up in Google’s search results for various queries, of which the majority are typically head terms (short/popular 1-2-word queries).

Here’s an example of in-depth articles for “investing“:


The results are pretty straightforward:

  • There are always three in-depth articles by default.
  • Clicking the “+ More in-depth articles” link results in additional in-depth articles on the topic you searched.
  • Under some articles, additional in-depth articles are suggested based on related topics: business investments, investment capital, buy bitcoin.

Though the majority of in-depth articles are from trustworthy, reputable news sources, they aren’t a replacement of news articles, nor are they exclusively reserved for such sites.

While in-depth article eligibility is largely based on algorithmic signals, there are a number of things you can do to optimize your site for Google’s “in-depth article” feature:

Per Google Webmaster Tools Help:

* Google emphasizes the importance of the following attributes: headline, alternativeHeadline, image, description, datePublished, articleBody

In-Depth Articles WordPress Plugin

If your site runs on WordPress, the above items can be easily implemented with this plugin.

Once activated, these options will be added to each post:


Simply fill them out for each article you post and you’ll be good to go!

Well, almost.

Beyond and technical complexities, length of content (naturally) has a major influence on an article’s chance of showing up in in-depth search results. Backlinks and social shares are also important, of course, but “in-depth,” text-based content has the most impact.

How long?

Aim for articles of at least 1,500 words.

That doesn’t mean you should write just to write; not all articles are suited for an in-depth approach.

Write what comes naturally on any given topic, but keep length in mind any time you sit down to tackle a meaty topic.

In-Depth Search Traffic

If you’re looking for what sort of increase in-depth articles can have on your traffic, KISSmetrics’ search traffic increased by 13.15% in 30 days from in-depth articles.

What would a 13.15% increase in traffic mean for your business?



About the Author

Jed Kent is the Head of Search at Digital Aptitude, a Digital Marketing Agency in Portland, OR. Outside of work, he is a huge fan of the NBA (go Blazers!). He also lived in Japan for four years. You can find him on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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2 thoughts on “Quick Guide to Google In-Depth Articles

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by, Scott.

      I do agree. I would have expected more helpful results, honestly. Some terms bring quality articles, but it seems to be pretty hit or miss.

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