WordLift is ready to help you mark-up “in-depth articles” and…Google will love it!

Andrea Volpini

10.Sep.2013

This post is about increasing the value of your WordPress blog by adding  schema.org mark-up for “in-depth articles” a feature recently introduced by Google for promoting evergreen contents on its result pages.

What are “in-depth articles” and why you should care?

[mt_dropcap style=”3″] W [/mt_dropcap]hile most of us were on holidays Google “rolled-out” on Google.com (in English to begin with) the so called “in-depth articles” (here is the official announcement from the Google Inside Search blog). The goal is to provide users with a richer experience on their search page by highlighting articles that provide a wider overview on the topic being searched.

These article show up when approaching broad topics such as “love”, “happiness” and a lot more including “Italy”, “Egypt”, “blogging” or even famous personalities like “Steve Jobs” (and very few others at this stage) – While running few tests these days as many others of you did I found some level of correlation with topics that also contain news content.

If like me you’re not in the US you can play with these queries by going in incognito mode (here is how with Chrome) to Google.com and here is how they appear on the SERP – the keyword here is “Italy” (a quite obvious choice for me).

The reason a book review on the italian left movements shows up here remains obscure whether for the other two articles (one about the role of women in Italy during the Berlusconi’s era and the other one on Silvio’s big trials) the correlation with the latest news is quite strong even though: a) they are not replacing the news block on the SERP and b) they have been written a long time ago (the first one in 2011 and the second one from the Economist is a well known article published in 2001).

For the time I write this post they tend to replace the #10 organic result like in this specific case I tested for the keyword “Italy” (but Dr. Peter from the Moz team – in his brilliant analysis “inside in-depth articles” – claims to have seen a block appearing also in #8 position – therefore we can assume Google is still testing the right positioning).

The reason is important for content editors to write “in-depth articles” (and consequently help search engines find them) is that 10% of our daily information diet include this kind of queries (the research is from Google and you can read an abstract here) where we look for high-quality evergreen content – including a series of articles – to learn or explore a specific subject (quite frankly I believe Google aims at replacing with “in-depth articles” the page views we daily dedicate to Wikipedia). Not only, Google is seeking, by leveraging on the authorship markup (this is also required by the in-depth articles), for subject-experts: authors with a genuine authority on a specific topic. This means for both publishers and authors that the algorithm now begins to understand who’s relevant on a topic and who’s not (both authors and publishers).

In other words if you have relevant content on a broad topic you can now gain some traction on the Google SERPs by using schema.org for Article and authorship markup.

Now considering that in-depth contents will remain relevant for months or even years after publication (the article on Silvio’s trials that appeared as in-depth for the keyword “Italy” was published 12 years ago!!) and, in addition to well-known publishers, Google claims also great articles from lesser-known publications will have a chance – you should produce at least one in-depth article per month on the subjects you like the most.

How WordLift can help You

[mt_dropcap style=”3″] W [/mt_dropcap]ordLift has been designed to curate your content published on WordPress by adding a semantic layer and by fetching Search Engines with all the metadata they need to index at best your post and pages.

To help you mark-up your posts for “in-depth articles” we just launched WordLift version 2.6 (here is a more detailed post with all the technical information to get started).

Using this version of the plugin we will add:

As well as the information on the Google+ ID of the authors and of the publisher (this last one is dependent on the theme you’re using on your site).

So let’s begin writing your first “in-depth article” and tag it using WordLift 2.6.

  1. choose a broad interest topic you know best (and possibly a topic you’ve been writing already in the past),

  2. install WordLift 2.6,

  3. fill the Google+ ID in your user profile on your WordPress powered website,

  4. add your blog address in the “Contribute to” section of your Google+ profile (see here for more info),

  5. write your article keeping in mind that good content is what really makes a difference,

  6. publish and test the metadata using the Google Rich Snippet Testing tool

Have great writing session with WordLift!