How to Write the In-Depth Articles that Google Loves Hey marketer, are you a lover of long-form content? In-depth reporting? Then you’ll love this statistic: Ten percent. That’s the percentage, according to a recent Google study called Daily Information Needs, of people who might want detailed, long-form information from search. And like we always say around here, “go where the data indicates.” On August 6, 2013, Google did just that and announced the inclusion of in-depth articles in search results on broad search terms like cheese, investment, chess, terrorism, football, censorship, or abortion. But this move really shouldn’t surprise us … Google has been heading this way for quite some time, notably with its Panda updates. Neither should it surprise you that the engineer behind this new search feature is none other than Pandu Nayak — the guy behind the Panda algorithm. On the Google Search blog Pandu writes: I’m happy to see people continue to invest in thoughtful in-depth content that will remain relevant for months or even years after publication.
This is exactly what you’ll find in the new feature. In addition Phone Number List to well-known publishers, you’ll also find some great articles from lesser-known publications and blogs. If you’re a publisher or webmaster, check out our help center article and post on the Webmaster Central blog to learn more. How can you read that and not think of the practice of writing cornerstone content — a staple that Copyblogger has been preaching since day one? This is good news for content marketers. Under the hood of In-Depth Article search results Here’s how this new feature works. Search for “prison reform” and you get a snapshot of articles from Washington Monthly, The Daily Beast, and The American Conservative — including a thumbnail image, title, brief description, source, and logo. That’s fine and good for politics and culture, but is this new feature relevant to the business world? Indeed, it is. Search for “marketing” and you get in-depth results from Fast Company, New York Times, and Mashable.
I have to admit … those results were hardly relevant to the term “marketing.” Furthermore, when I search for “content marketing,” “email marketing,” “landing pages,” or “copywriting,” there were no in-depth articles available (although our cornerstone content landing pages for those topics rank prominently). Off the top of my head I can think of at least one article for each of those subjects that could qualify as an in-depth article. Something is afoot. What’s clear is that articles between 2,000 and 5,000 words in length and written by big brands dominate these new search results. Not too inspiring considering Google’s promise that “you’ll also find some great articles from lesser-known publications and blogs.” Search Engine Land, however, did show up for “search engine” — but the article rendered was a peculiar choice:
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