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 schema.org 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?