Google announced that it will start showing a new "In-depth articles" section in search results when users search for some "broad topics".
We wrote about the feature when Google was testing it a couple months ago, but now Google is making it a real feature. Here's what it looks like:
Interestingly, Google says only 10% of people's daily info needs "fit this category" of needing more than a "quick answer". That seems like a pretty low number, particularly after the Panda update.
"If you care about censorship, you'll find a thought-provoking article by Salman Rushdie in The New Yorker, a piece by our very own Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen in the Guardian, and another great article about Iran. If you're in the mood for something lighter, search for [lego], you'll find great in-depth articles about many different facets of the topic from gender to engineering to art. For some more examples, check out new search results for population growth, capital punishment and e-waste."
While I don't think that this necessarily means that Google is going to be giving special treatment to content written by Googlers, it's interesting that they would highlight the Eric Schmidt example, given how often the search engine is criticized for displaying its own results.
Google's Pandu Nayak, who announced the feature on the Inside Search blog does at least note that it will also surface content from lesser-known publications and blogs. It will be interesting to see how often this really occurs.
Google also has a post up about the feature on its Webmaster Central blog, where Nayak says, "These results are ranked algorithmically based on many signals that look for high-quality, in-depth content. "
Webmaters are encouraged to provide schea.org article markup, authorship markup, rel=next and rel=prev for paginated articles (as well as looking out for rel-canonical mistakes), provide info about their organization's logo and obviously create in-depth content. Links to more info on all of this stuff are available in the post. More info is also available in Google's help center.
The feature is only available on Google.com in English for now.