Get your blog-posts into Google's in-depth search results

This QuickTip is about the new in-depth search results feature that Google has recently introduced, and how you set up your blog-posts so they have a chance of being considered as in-depth.

In-depth search results

getting your blog listed here in google searh results
Google recently announced a new category that may sometimes be shown in a search results page, ie the page of information that is shown to a person after they have run a search in Google.

These suggested "in-depth" results are meant to help people to "find relevant in-depth articles in the main Google Search results"

This feature will be initially only be used on search results from on in English, but is likely to extend to other google searches (eg,, etc) and other languages over time.

Google's stated aim is for the in-depth panel to appear when someone searches for "person or organization name, or other broad topic", and for it to include
"thoughtful in-depth content that will remain relevant for months or even years after publication. ... [including material from] well-known publishers ... [and] lesser-known publications and blogs"

They haven't told us what counts as "in-depth" - but my initial guess is posts / articles that are at least several thousand words long, and possibly which have "enough" headers to show that they cover a range of sub-topics and points-of-view.  

An in-depth panel in Google's search-engine-results-page (SERP) looks like this:

At the moment, it is positioned at the bottom of the first search results page, as shown below.

Getting blog-posts included in in-depth result lists

Some bloggers write in-depth content about individual people, organizations, or other broad topics, and so may be interested in setting up their posts so they can be considered to be included in the in-depth results.

Google's guidelines about how to do this for websites in general are here:

There are no promises and no magic-bullet solutions here:  competing against blogs and websites published by large organizations with editorial staff and SEO experts isn't easy.   But I think that it will be possible, particularly if you're an expert in your field, and have content that is unique in a particular niche.

Looking at Google's article, particularly relevant points for bloggers are:
  • Using markup
    Recommended properties are headline, alternativeHeadline, image, description, datePublished and articleBody - some of these are from the general set, not specifically for articles.
  • Authorship markup
  • Logo

I also suspect that having a good thumbnail picture for your blog may also be important - especially if you don't have authorship set up.

Pagination and canonicalization is probably not so relevant, as most blogging tools don't provide automatic facilities for multi-part posts. However if you do want to combine several blog-posts into one "in-depth" candidate, note their comment about needing "a rel=canonical pointing at either each individual page, or a "view-all" page" and not just to the first post in the series.

How to implement properties in Blogger

I've described before - but I have to admit that I haven't implemented it yet in any of my blogs.   (Though I do have plans to use some, and have done Facebook's Open Graph tags.)

Blogger doesn't currently have tools in its screens that let you to set these features yourself - so to implement them at the moment, you will need to edit your template, and most probably add statements like:

This isn't the correct syntax: I'm assuming that anyone who can figure out the codes won't need help with the HTML syntax.   And I'm not sure whether the code should go into the header or body sections.  But it gives you the general idea.   And my excuse is that this is a quick-tip, not a fully researched article at this stage.

Hopefully Google will put some features to make this easier into Blogger soon, for the sake of bloggers for whom SEO is important, but who aren't so brave about editing their template.

Related Articles:

Why SEO matters for some bloggers

Advantages and disadvantages of editing your Blogger template


Implementing Facebook's Open Graph tags

Post-thumbnail:   a picture to represent a blog-post
Get your blog-posts into Google's in-depth search results