In-Depth Articles in Google Search Results
Google's new in-depth articles feature, released early this month (Aug. 2013), promises to increase digital visibility for those that take content development seriously.
The aim in providing (perhaps better said as "featuring") in-depth articles directly from the search results is to satisfy a user's need to understand a broader topic - which Google's own research indicates is 10 percent of people's typical information needs.
Information publishers interested in how to get their content into Google as a featured in-depth article will likely be disappointed at its ease. Google retains the right to determine which pages show up under the "In-depth articles" heading, providing little more than its boilerplate suggestion to help it better understand its pages. That's done by using the schema.org article markup, providing authorship markup, using rel=next and rel=prev on paginated articles, including information about the company's logo (not to mention providing high-quality, in-depth and compelling content).
There has been little in the way of discussion among smaller brands/content marketers appearing in the now coveted in-depth section on Google's search results, but it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility. It's well-believed that the program will predominantly feature more established information publishers (see image below) by default and less well-known brands will have a more challenging time earning that designation.