How To Use “In-Depth Article” Feature To Improve Site Traffic

Posted by Harshad

How To Use “In-Depth Article” Feature To Improve Site Traffic

How To Use “In-Depth Article” Feature To Improve Site Traffic

Posted: 07 Jan 2014 07:01 AM PST

Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Joydeep Bhattacharya, an inbound marketer and author of SEO blog SEOSandwitch.com, associated with Internet marketing since 2009. Besides serving his passion for SEO, SMO and PPC marketing he loves to read books and spend time on social media sites.

Google launched the "In-Depth Articles" feature in August 2013 in order to help users find information focused around broad topics like search engines, SEO, happiness, goals, love, life etc. This feature is great to get your content highlighted in search result pages, which ultimately helps to drive more traffic to your site.

In-depth articles allow you to target broader queries that have large search volume thereby increasing the chances of getting noticeable amounts of visits to your site. You are targeting the long tail queries to drive traffic because they are easier to rank for as opposed to the broader ones. But, what will happen if you start getting traffic from the fat head keywords as well! Visits will just start to explode.

In-depth articles are an invitation by Google to showcase your articles if it meets the criteria. This article will provide you with all the information you need for rebranding your articles and site for in-depth mode.

A Look at "In-Depth Articles"

The screenshot below displays the in-depth articles for the query "Love". It contains a title, site name, snippet, an image from the article and its date of publishing. The articles that get featured here are of high quality and lets you explore more about any subject.

Google generally returns evergreen resources not only from news sites but from other general sites as well. However, sites featured under in-depth articles are of high authority, having lots of backlinks, citations, comments and social love.

Criteria For "In-Depth Articles"

So, what are the criteria that determine which results Google displays under this feature? The section below explores some of the vital factors that are used by Google to rank any site under the in-depth articles feature.

The decision to display content from any site under in-depth articles is computed algorithmically. However, Google has provided certain guidelines for optimizing a site for this feature. Let us discuss these guidelines one by one.

1. Schema.org Article Mark Up

The Schema.org article mark up covers all sorts of articles and their meta data which must be supplied to Google in order to enable it to process the information contained in your web pages accurately, and present the search results in a better way.

But, in reality, you are not only helping Google to display better search results but also helping your site to be optimized for a better search experience, increasing the chances of getting your web page featured under the in-depth articles section.

The following six attributes are the most important:




Used On



Headline of the article




A secondary title of the CreativeWork




URL of an image of the item




A short description of the item




Date of first broadcast/publication




The actual body of the article


2. Google Authorship Markup

Authorship allows Google to move from anonymous to known web. Articles written by trusted and reputed authors are more likely to get included under the in-depth articles feature. You can add authorship markup to any web page by linking the content written by you with your Google Plus profile.

In order to set up authorship for your written articles, follow the steps given below:

  1. Create a Google Plus profile.
  2. Upload the profile picture you want to display in the search results.
  3. Visit https://plus.google.com/authorship and verify your email.

[For more info, read this.]

After you have verified yourself as an author, all your published content affiliated with that email id would be displayed in Google results under your authorship.

As an example, the screenshot below displays an in-depth article showing authorship markup when searched for the query: Barack Obama.


Here, the authorship markup for The Daily Beast writer, Niall Ferguson gets highlighted under in-depth articles. Content by renowned authors can amazingly increase the clickthrough rate of any site. This is the reason Google prefers the use of authorship to a great extent.

3. Pagination Using Rel=next and Rel=prev links

There may be times when in-depth articles that are "too long" are divided into several pages for easy reading. If this is the case, then Google recommends the use of pagination using rel=next and rel=prev links.

The rel=next and rel=prev HTML tags are used to indicate a relationship between different URLs having continued content. Suppose if a long article is divided into 3 parts displayed on 3 different URLs as shown below:-


Then, the rel=next tag should be added in the head section of the first page as follows:

<link rel="next" href="http://www.domain.com/part2.html"> 

This will tell Google that the article is continued to the next page that is located in the part2.html URL.

Similarly, on part2.html, the rel=prev tags need to be added in the head section:

<link rel="prev" href="http://www.domain.com/part1.html">
<link rel="next" href="http://www.domain.com/part3.html">

And on part3.html, following tags need to be added:-

<link rel="prev" href="http://www.example.com/article-part3.html">

These tags will clearly indicate Google that the article is divided into 3 pages and hence enable it to compete for the in-depth search space.

Similarly, canonical tags should be added on every individual page instead of only the first page in the series.

4. Source Identification Using a Logo

A logo is a great way for the users to identify the brand associated with the article. Google recommends the display of your logo under the in-depth articles column. You can add a logo of your brand by either linking your Google Plus page to your website or by using organizational mark up as given below:-

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization"> <a itemprop="url" href="http://www.domain.com/">Home</a> <img itemprop="logo" src="http://www.domain.com/companylogo.png" /> </div> 

The screenshot below shows posts bearing site logos like the New York Times, The Guardian and the Wall Street journal.

5. First Click Free (FCF)

Google also recommends implementing FCF feature if your site displays high quality content to the users only after they have registered for the site. Content access for registered users restricts Google from crawling the content of the site. If Google is not able to crawl the content then it cannot display it under the in-depth articles feature.

Hence, you need to allow users to access content on your site from the Google search results itself. Under first click free, users are able to see the full content of the webpage in their first click to the site. However, when they further click to the original link, there are required to register to the site (more info here).

The Current Winners

Top sites that publish high quality content on a regular basis, like Wired, New Yorker, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are clearly reaping the maximum benefits of in-depth articles. Here are some of the features that were found in most of the articles shown under in-depth articles:

1. Content

The number of words presented in the articles was found to be between 1500-5000 or more. Content presented were really comprehensive using extensive resources.


Interestingly, sites continuously ranked under in-depth articles displayed positive user comments. Comments were found in the range of 50-1000 or more. Hence, user engagement is the main signal for ranking documents under this feature. The more the comments, the better are the chances of ranking.

3. Social Shares

Another major factor for measuring user engagement is the number of social shares. Ranked documents were full of social shares having thousands of Likes, tweets and +1. A search for "cat" returns a March 2012 article from theatlantic.com as displayed in the image below:

The amount of social shares that this article received was simply awesome. Most importantly, the article had over 1000 comments. These are great signals for Google to determine and rate in-depth articles.

4. Date of Publishing

This was a slight twist. Google mostly presented two fresh results and one old result depending on the type of search query. Recently published articles (more than 3-4 months old) that have a good number of comments were given priority but evergreen articles published years ago with tremendous number of social shares and comments rank easiest.

5. Domain Authority

Only trusted sites with high domain authority in the range of 90+ were shown under in-depth articles. DA is a metric provided by Moz that helps us to judge the importance of a web page after scrutinizing several factors like age of the domain, quality of links pointing to the domain, Page Rank of the domain, TrustRank of the domain etc. This metric is great in quickly identifying the top quality sites.

6. Tf-Idf Score

Term frequency and inverse document frequency calculation, collectively called as Tf-Idf score is one of the important metrics for judging the quality of content present in a document. The presence of uncommon words within the text body is a great signal for evaluating the relative importance of a web page.

Tf-Idf is a score based on the relative importance of words present in a set of documents and this score is used to provide weightage in data fetching. Hence, presence of unique words is a great identification for Google that the page is relevant enough to get displayed under in-depth articles.

7. Other factors

Page Rank. When it comes to ranking older documents, Page Rank is also a signal. But, this is a relatively weak factor that is not given much priority while fetching the final results.

Image. Article must have an image that is craw-lable and it must be specified using schema mark up. This enables Google to identify primary image and helps it to display it as a snippet in the in-depth articles section.

Backlinks. This is the most obvious part of the ranking algorithm. Articles that have numerous (hundreds or thousands of) natural backlinks pointing to them will secure a place under in-depth articles.

Trusted Seeds. Sites that are most favored by Google and used as a standard for judging the quality of other sites are known as trusted seeds. Under the in-depth articles feature, these small niches of "trusted seeds" seem to rank for most of the queries. This clearly means, just having quality content is not enough. Your entire domain and the quality of articles presented to the users should be trusted enough to make Google judge the overall reputation of the site while evaluating the metrics associated with your domain.


Google says more than 10% of users’ daily information needs is focused around broad topics which require deep research and comprehensive articles. In-depth articles acts as refinement for the big G and presents documents that have research-worthy materials in them. Getting your article featured under in-depth articles section is a great way to capture a high percentage of additional clicks related to your industry.

You just have to make sure to create articles that are of high quality which serves the users well. Google prefers to display "evergreen content" that remain important for years to come. Also, work towards increasing the authority of your site because trusted, reputed and authoritative domains are always given a preference.

Please share your comments about this new feature of in-depth articles and let me know any additional factors which you might have noticed in the articles displayed under the in-depth articles section.


30 Cheatsheets &#38; Infographics For Digital Marketers

Posted: 07 Jan 2014 05:01 AM PST

A digital marketer works on many mediums or platforms such as social media, the Internet, television, billboards, radio and even SMS. Having to stay atop this wide array of platforms means that digital marketers have to keep up with the trends that affect the many different aspects of each medium.

The trick is to capture the correct audiences for their products or services whether it is for a large online business or a growing startup.

In this post, we’ve compiled a list of 30 cheatsheets & infographics to help aspiring digital marketers. If you are an online business owner, the data, numbers and statistics might interest you to start investing in digital marketing.

Just like our many other cheatsheet posts, remember to click on the links to get a clearer view of the entire cheatsheet or infographic.

5 Reasons to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency

Reasons To Hire Digital Marketing

The 7 Types of Digital Marketers

7 Types Of Digital Marketers

Digital Marketing Is Killing Traditional Advertising

Digital Killing Tradtional

Mobile Statistics for Digital Marketers

Mobile Statistics

What Is Digital Marketing

What Is Digital Marketing

The Dynamic Digital Marketing Landscape

Dynamic Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Radar

Digital Marketing Radar

Inside the Minds of Digital Marketing Leaders

Digital Marketing Leaders Minds

3 Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing

3 Emerging Trends

Top 5 Conversation Opportunities for Digital Marketers in 2012

Conversation Opprotunities

Digital Marketing Trends in 2013

Digital Marketing Trends 2013

The Situation with Digital Marketing Personalization

Digital Marketing Personalization

Winning, Rewarding & Retaining Loyal Customers

Customer Loyalty

Digital Ad Spending

Digital Ad Spending

The Importance of Digital

Importance Of Digital

Digital Marketing Reports

Digital Marketing Reports

Drive Demand with Digital Marketing

Drive Demand With Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Talent Gap

Digital Marketing Talent Gap

The Digital Marketing Trio of 2013

Digital Marketing Trio

Digital Marketing & the Impact of Video

Video Digital Marketing

The Mind of a Digital Marketer

The Mind Of A Digital Marketer

The State of Digital Marketing for SMBs

State SMBs

2014 State of Digital Marketing

2014 State of Digital Marketing

Top 10 Things Digital Marketers Need to Know for 2013

Top 10 Things Digital Marketers Need To Know

The Digital Marketer’s Toolbox

The Digital Marketer's Toolbox

Digital Marketing Budgets

Digital Marketing Budgets

30 Digital Marketing Statistics You Shouldn’t Miss

30 Digital Marketing Statistics

The Digital Marketing Map

The Digital Marketing Map

33 Digital Marketing Facts You Didn’t Know

33 Digital Marketing Facts

Digital Marketing Landscape

Digital Marketing Landscape


How To Manage Your Team With Praise, Incentives And Autonomy

Posted: 07 Jan 2014 02:01 AM PST

Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Mary Prescott, community manager at WorkZone.com, a web-based project management software company. You can contact her on Twitter. When she’s not working, you’ll find her reading fiction or hiking with her dog.

Traditional management styles are built around strict adherence to authority. Workers are expected to be "passive". They take orders, they follow instructions, and they follow. This style of management works quite well for assembly line and factory work, but its terribly counterproductive in fields where innovation, creativity, networking, and service play a crucial role – which is to say, most modern workplaces.

While this is becoming increasingly obvious, it’s much less obvious why this seems to be the case. Why is this management style so ineffective in modern settings? The answer lies in what could be called the "passive state" versus the "active state" of mind.

While these terms aren’t used by psychologists, the evidence points to such an effect, and the implications for business are crucial.

Passive Players, Low Productivity

If you’ve ever sat down and watched TV for too long, you’ve felt the effect of low alpha waves on your brain. Alpha waves occur in your brain during "relaxed" states, when your mind isn’t actively engaged. While some "relaxation" is clearly good for the brain, it’s not so good when you’re trying to get something done, and too much of it has a negative impact not just on your productivity, but on your well-being.

The Implications Of Alpha Waves

In one experiment, scientists found that alpha waves were a strong predictor of mistakes. In the experiment, students’ brains were monitored while they took a test. If their brains slipped into alpha-mode, they were much more likely to make mistakes.

Alpha waves are also closely tied to daydreaming, and they literally inhibit brain activity, pushing important tasks out of conscious awareness. What’s worse, daydreaming has been shown, scientifically, to lead to unhappiness.

No matter how much our intuition tells us that escaping into daydreaming will make us happy, the evidence points in the other direction. Unhappy people daydream more often, and people who daydream tend to feel worse afterward. Focusing on the task at hand, no matter how boring, leads to happiness.

Nuclear power plants have even started giving employees machines to monitor their brainwaves. They emphasize reducing alpha wave activity, and boosting beta waves, which indicate that the employee is more focused and concentrated on the task at hand.

Alpha Waves & Creativity

Why all the talk of alpha waves and daydreaming? Well, both tend to occur when somebody else is in the driver’s seat. Alpha waves take over when we are watching TV, or sitting in a meeting, when we are following orders that don’t require too much thought, and when we are doing repetitive tasks.

A scarcity of alpha waves makes creativity difficult, since we need to daydream to come up with new ideas. It also means high stress, because the brain is never getting a rest.

Turning Off The Active Switch

The thing is though, most people already have a healthy balance of alpha waves. But when they are encouraged to stay passive, instead of taking an active role, it can become difficult for them to switch gears. They become uncomfortable in active roles.

It becomes difficult for them to deal with unexpected problems. They keep opinions to themselves, and they end up daydreaming so much that they make mistakes and lose morale. The modern workforce needs something more than somebody who can only follow orders.

In a workplace that is of a healthy environment, workers will have some relaxation time (where daydreaming can occur, and creative bursts can happen) and also enough control over their own actions, enough of a role in planning, and enough ownership of their contributions, that they will feel empowered, and comfortable taking charge of their own problems.

The Complicated Role of Incentives

If the modern worker must take on an active role in defining and sculpting what they do at work, what is the role of management? Modern managers know well enough that employees don’t necessarily take on this active role simply because management takes a less authoritative stance.

Management that simply "gets out of the way" tends to breed a workforce of employees who will opt to play solitaire and chat around the water cooler, rather than get things done. The most obvious answer to this question is incentives.

But incentives play a more complicated role than you might think. Some studies have shown that incentives can be harmful to creativity. Meanwhile, incentives built on broken metrics can be detrimental, encouraging employees to maximize that metric at any cost.

Find The Right People

A lot of discussions on this subject bring up the concept of "intrinsic motivation." In other words, the task itself is the reward. Needless to say, workers who feel motivated by the work itself are going to put in more effort. But there’s no way to create intrinsic motivation. A worker either loves their work, or they don’t.

The only way to have an intrinsically motivated workforce is to hire the right people, people who love the kind of work that needs to get done.

Science Says You Should Praise More

Aside from intrinsic motivation, employees need to feel that their work is valued. Studies have shown the crucial role central to motivation that dopamine, a brain chemical, plays in the workplace. When we are praised for accomplishing something, we feel inclined to keep at it. Without that hit of dopamine, we lose that motivation, and we look for our dopamine elsewhere (perhaps a game of Farmville).

Needless to say, having an employee of the month program isn’t going to be enough, since it only helps one person feel more motivated, and everybody else feel jaded.

Praise must be a regular part of management and it must be offered for small achievements. Sadly, only 30 percent of workers say they’ve received any praise from management in a week. This is disconcerting, because most employees need to receive praise at least weekly, and better yet daily, to stay fully motivated or they will lose morale and overall productivity will drop.

At the same time, it’s important to recognize that different people like to be praised in different ways, and that you should only offer praise for behaviors that you want to continue.

Finally, incentives, whether financial or emotional, aren’t necessarily bad for creativity as some studies claim. Instead, more clever studies have found that only traditional productivity incentives hurt creativity. If it’s explicit that the reward is specifically for creative behavior, it does in fact encourage creative behavior.

Making Autonomy Work

Now that we know we need workers to take on an active role in the workplace, and that incentives and praise play a crucial part in this, how do we make it work? How do we give employees autonomy over their work, and still maintain a company culture, and adhere to our goals?

1. Explain the value of the goal, so that workers will naturally choose to adopt it as their own.

2. Let employees choose how to reach the goal on their own, rather than imposing it on them. To avoid the problem of procrastination, allow employees to set various short term goals to achieve their larger goal.

3. Experiment with a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE). When CEO Jeff Gunther experimented with a workplace that focused entirely on results, not on when employees came or left, or how they did the work, the results were so dramatic that he decided to implement the policy permanently.

4. Clearly define which tasks can be completed independently, and which need to be completed as a group. Those that must be completed as a group will require face time. You will need to put a system in place that ensures teams stay connected, and that "slackers" don’t let the rest of the team do the work for them.

5. Help employees clearly define how they work best. Some employees appreciate autonomy more than others. Some feel comfortable defining large scope goals for themselves, while others would prefer to define only short term, interim goals.

In Conclusion

Various studies and workplace experiments have shown that autonomy has positive benefits. In workplaces where complex tasks and problem solving are common, autonomy boosts productivity and innovation.

In more routine jobs, it’s impact on productivity is minimal, but it still has a positive impact on job satisfaction, which helps prevent turnover and other counterproductive behaviors.

Remember: an active worker feels motivated, is less likely to make mistakes, and is more likely to stay committed. Traditional management isn’t built to keep workers in an active state of mind. We must embrace autonomy, praise, and smart incentives if we wish to run innovative, productive workplaces.


Collaborations: The How And Why Of Working With Other Designers

Posted: 06 Jan 2014 11:01 PM PST

Ah, collaborations. They can be a blessing or a curse, and sometimes both at once. Working with another designer on a project can challenge you in ways you never thought possible… and it can also drive you so crazy you’ll find yourself wondering whether it was worth the effort in the first place.

Today, we’ll explore some ways you can approach other fellow designers for collaborations, and how to maintain a hold on your sanity once you decide to take the plunge.

Choosing A Partner

You shouldn’t just choose to collaborate with someone because they are a friend, or because they ask you to. There are several criteria which need to be met by anyone seeking a creative collaboration with you.

First, is this person going to help you achieve anything specific, creatively or career-wise? If you’re a full-time designer, you’re pressed for time, and wasting it on a collaboration that isn’t going to bring you any value is just not a good idea.

Secondly, how does their skill set compare to yours? You can have great collaborations with designers who are both similar and very different from you, but it’s important to make sure that the two of you can “mesh” your skills together in a meaningful way.

How Much To Contribute

A collaboration can be a 50-50 effort, with both (or all) parties pulling equal weight toward the completion of the project. Other times, though, you might be asked to contribute something small but important, like a type treatment, or even just the use of your intellectual property or logo. It’s up to you to determine how much you want to be involved in the creative process.

When I collaborate with someone, I like to get my hands dirty, so to speak. To me, unless I’m directly involved in the production of the work – coming up with ideas, making sketches and notes, doing revisions – it’s not as interesting to me. Choose the level of contribution that best suits your personality and creative goals.

Looking Good

Anything you work on, any creative piece that bears your name, should be an asset to your portfolio, rather than something you’re ashamed of. When I was just starting out as a designer, before I knew better, I would agree to collaborate with friends of mine whose work was sub-par, just because I didn’t want to reject them or seem snobbish.

The resulting work was always disappointing – I never had as much creative input as I wanted, and as a result, the quality would suffer (funny how those who are most eager for a collaboration tend to be the biggest control freaks… but I digress).

If you can’t be sure of the quality of the finished work, you should probably pass.

Collaboration And Legal Issues

If the project is major, or there is a possibility of it generating significant revenue or media attention, it’s obviously important to work out the details of who receives what compensation and so forth. A contract can come in handy here, and there are plenty of resources, both online and off, that can help you draft something which will protect you and your partner in any conceivable situation.

Even if you and your partner are collaborating purely for creative or artistic reasons and don’t expect anything to come from the project, things can change when there is an unexpected windfall of cash or fame involved.

One or the other may feel slighted, or like they’re not getting as much notice as the other. Sorting out the legalities early on will prevent disagreements from turning into lawsuits.

Emotional Response

Keeping on that last note, what happens when one partner gets more recognition for a collaboration than the other or others? It can result in hurt feelings and resentment, and can certainly lead to legal troubles if your contract is not ironclad. Designers have fragile egos, and if someone feels slighted, it’s important to engage in damage control before it spirals out of hand.

Having a strict outline of who is contributing what might seem a bit obsessive, but in my experience, it has helped cool disputes in the past as one party is forced to remember what the original agreement was. If someone still gets insulted, there’s not much to be done except make a note not to work with them again.


Collaborations can be amazing experiences that can catapult your career as a designer to new heights, both professionally and creatively. Having a clear idea of what to expect can only enrich the experience, and help you avoid potential disasters before they occur.


Watch Videos In Smooth Playback With Smooth Video Project [Windows]

Posted: 06 Jan 2014 09:01 PM PST

Do you notice that videos watched on high-end TVs, seems smoother, clearer and more "fluid"? In a fast action scene we can barely see what is going on because most videos are projected at 24 frames per second. "Frame Interpolation" technology helps generate intermediate animation in between frames to produce a smooth motion; hence during a fast-moving scene, the video will not look blurry.

(Image Source: Bo Allen)

Now thanks to Smooth Video Project, you can get the same experience from watching videos right on your PC. All you need is a mid-range CPU and almost any GPU hardware to enjoy the full experience.

Note: Smooth Video Project only runs on 32-bit version of Windows.

Getting Smooth Video Project

Grab Smooth Video Project installer here and proceed with the default installation.

Default Installation

Once done, run SVP Manager and it should appear in the taskbar tray area.

SVP Manager System Tray

Next, look for MPC-HC in SVP folder in your program files. Run MPC-HC.exe

Media Player Classic

Drag the video that you want to watch into MPC-HC player. Once the video is played, it will automatically run at your monitor’s maximum refresh rate.

Configuration settings

To optimize for the best playback experience, some settings are better dealt with manually. The following profile settings should work properly for standard computers but for the best experience, it is better to test out the settings one by one until you find whichever setting is the best setup for your computer.

Look for the "Active profile settings" by right clicking SVP Manager on the system tray, click on Video profile and choose your resolution from the list. Once you have your settings, make sure to have the same settings in all active profile settings too.

Active Profile Settings

If the default SVP settings doesn’t work out well for you, right click SVP Manager in system tray, go to Video profiles then click on Reset to defaults and you will be prompted with predefined profiles sets. Note that you will lose all previous settings that you made in Active profile setting.

Reset to Defaults

In here you have to pick the item that best describes your system. Then press OK.

Choose Profile Sets

Bonus: Watching Smooth YouTube Videos

You can also use this with YouTube videos. Open SVPTube from Start Menu and right click it in the system tray. Go to Preferred resolution and choose the resolution you want.

Choose Preferred Resolution

Next open any YouTube video in browser then copy the address link.

Copy YouTube Link

The video will automatically play in your desktop video player.



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