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Gini Dietrich

Create In-Depth Articles to Increase Your Google Authority

By: Gini Dietrich | September 5, 2013 | 
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Create In-Depth Articles to Increase Your Google AuthorityBy Gini Dietrich

In July, I decided to stop wasting my bike rides by listening to music and joined Audible. The goal? To listen to business books while I grind through a minimum of 30 miles every day.

I began by “reading” Ctrl Alt Delete and then decided I would alternate between non-fiction and fiction. After all, all work and no play makes a very boring person.

In the past two months, I’ve “read” seven books and surpassed my two books per month limit in my Audible account.

Because of my using this time to engage my brain, I’ve been able to create content for this very blog that has been smarter, richer, and more engaging…at least according to our metrics.

It has taught me that long-form content is not dead and has made me think about how to use it in combination with blog posts, videos, podcasts, and webinars.

So imagine my surprise when, Googling something for a client just a couple of weeks ago, I was presented with “in-depth articles” along with the normal news, videos, and blog posts in my search results.

Discover In-Depth Articles

On August 6, Google announced they are rolling out a feature to help you find relevant in-depth articles in your search results.

Their blog post says:

To understand a broad topic, sometimes you need more than a quick answer. Our research indicates perhaps 10 percent of people’s daily information needs fit this category — topics such as stem cell research, happiness, and love, to name just a few.

If, for instance, you search “lego,” you will find the LEGO site, store locator, and then news and in-depth articles. The articles, of course, giving you more information about how you can use LEGOs than you probably ever need.

Google In-Depth Articles

This works for other topics such as capital punishment, the death penalty, and marketing but not (yet) for media relations or public relations.

Which means we (the industry) have an opportunity!

Create In-Depth Articles from Existing Content

I have a post-it note on my desk with topics for which Spin Sucks ranks, but may not rank on the first page of results.

It includes:

  • Communication
  • PR
  • Public relations
  • Social media
  • Creative
  • Reputation
  • Content
  • Crisis management

I did this exercise after I read Andy Crestodina’sHow to Optimize Your Blog,” which walks you through how to do this, step-by-step (I highly recommend anyone who creates content for the web do this).

The next step, of course, is to take this post-it note and find all of the blog posts that rank for each of those terms. From there, I will optimize them a bit more strategically and then use them for cornerstone content.

That content then becomes an eBook, a white paper, or an in-depth article. The goal, of course, is the latter and, if “public relations” doesn’t already have in-depth articles, why not try to get them created?

Google Authority

But that isn’t all. We know Google ranks for recency, popularity, and authority. The first two are fairly easy to understand, but until now, authority meant using your Google+ profile to boost the content you write for your own blog and for others.

It meant guest writing for high-authority sites and creating owned content that has authority based on social shares and on-page search engine optimization.

Now we have a closer glimpse into what Google means by “authority.” It means the days of “Twenty Things Twerking Can Teach You About Public Relations” go only so far. Now if you want to write that blog post (any takers??), you have to combine it with real content that shows you are an expert on either twerking or public relations (please let it be the latter).

To gain real authority in the eyes of Google, you must be an expert. Your content must be in-depth, cite sources and other experts, and link appropriately.

It’s much more difficult to game this system, which means search results are getting better and better. But it also means your content must get richer and much more informative.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

99 comments
dave_link
dave_link

Thank you for not simply touting the "long read is dead" banner that seems to be the mantra of many digital marketers! It often takes much more than just a couple hundred words to really show mastery of a subject and simply providing links within a shortened article doesn't cut it for me.

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

In all the time I've been coming to Spin Sucks and other blogs from this fine crowd, this is the first time I've seen a plan for site optimization that made me want to actually give it a try.

I've been avoiding SEO like the plague...spread all over Snooki...who is talking about Miley.

Something about your exercise in optimization is appealing, though. It is time, for the good of my books, that I start taking this stuff seriously.

Thanks Gini.

SarahJocson
SarahJocson

Wow! Good tips! The idea is that the author can build rank and trust based on the content they write all over the web. Excellent!

SueReddel
SueReddel

Thanks Gini. This is the best article I've read all week. Great advice on exercising and reading. Good for your body and mind. In this world of "I don't have enough time" reading, especially reading to learn is something we could all benefit from. 

danielnewmanUV
danielnewmanUV

I thought I commented earlier - it didn't work :( 

Anyhow, I agree with a whole lot of what you are saying here.  But here is something that drives me crazy...

How the heck do we decide who qualifies as an "Expert."  

That word is so watered down it makes for ambiguous debate...

Good Stuff - McGinnis somewhere at Sears is proud. 

Word Ninja
Word Ninja

Finally...I'm so tired of hearing how people don't like to read anymore, that they only want to look at pictures like they are two years old and just learning all the colors and animal names. Thank you for all 670 words...I could have read way more. :)

susancellura
susancellura

I love new opportunities!! For the new website, I keep pushing for this type of content on it somewhere. It can't just be pictures and links. 

rosemaryoneill
rosemaryoneill

So my analytical brain immediately went to trying to quantify what an "in-depth" article must mean.  Word count, number of cites, type of cites, images...or just treat it like a book report rather than an essay (typical blog post).  This is one I'll need to noodle on.

littlegiantprod
littlegiantprod

Gosh it's a science isn't it.  I haven't dealt with this process but will soon!  7 books in the past 2 months?!  That's awesome.  Maybe I should get into Audible?  Thanks for the tips.

rdopping
rdopping

Darn it! I thought you were going to say I can blather on as I do IRL (betcha haven't see that acronym in a while). 

You know, I walk to work most days and I use that 45min to listen to podcasts - some entrainment (Alec Baldwin's are very good) and some biz-nas. So, I feel ya sistah (WHO am I right now?)

Another great bunch 'o info. I really need to quit my day job so I can get this stuff all sorted. By the time I learn one thing something new comes along to challenge me. I will get it figured out eventually.....I hope. 

I love the "in-depth" relevance that I can create for Interior Design. The good thing is that I am wayyyyyy out front on this one. Most of the ID stuff out there is from "decorators" so our industry has some real opportunity too. Yay!

Neicolec
Neicolec

This is a blessing for those of us who actually find pleasure in writing. We get to have fun, not worry about posts being too long, and fare well in search results. Yay! 

photo chris
photo chris

So, am I the only one who, in the midst of yet another awesome post,  is stuck at, "grind through a minimum of 30 miles every day?" 

I read it like this: 30. Miles. EVERY. DAY. Gini I knew you rode, but WOW! 

Also- I am amazed you "read" and ride. Actually, I am amazed that anyone can do "audible" books. Sound for me is something that  is an unconscious motivating background force. It shuts my brain up and lets me get on with what needs doing: housework, working out, "down" time. 

I just recently changed up my shuffle to insert a handful of songs to get me through my "I don't want to swim one more moment" moment- which happens around length 35, when I have at LEAST 30 more to go.  The great tunes make me want to stay in the water and in another few laps I'm back into it. I don't know that a book, particularly a business book- could do that for me. I think it'd make me anxious....

Now, I have to go and bookmark another great post- I'm never going to get any work done at this rate!

photo chris
photo chris

@SueReddel so, I should stop working  (and obsessing over posts) tonight, resist the urge for the slump of the couch, and go swim? ergh.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@danielnewmanUV I don't think "we" decide that. Google does. It's based on relevancy, popularity, and the authority you've already created on your site. So, for instance, you'd want to get something published on Huffington Post for the authority, but it would also have to be relevant and popular...and in-depth, which means you're citing sources, doing more research, and providing context no one else does.

TaraGeissinger
TaraGeissinger

@Word Ninja I agree! I found myself defending long form content just last week with a potential client. Like most things, having variety is probably most beneficial, but trust me when I say that you need to invest in creating 'flagship' articles and deeper content.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@rosemaryoneill I'm not sure there is a way to quantify it that way. Based on what I'm reading this is what I've surmised (though they haven't come right out and said it): 

It's based on relevancy, popularity, and the authority you've already created on your site. So, for instance, you'd want to get something published on Huffington Post (or Spin Sucks!) for the authority, but it would also have to be relevant and popular...and in-depth, which means you're citing sources, doing more research, and providing context no one else does.

EricPudalov
EricPudalov

@photo chris Yes, I second that motion!  If you can ride 30 miles a day, Gini, I can certainly run at least 2-3!!  But to get back on topic...this post has reminded me that, I not only need to write content that I think would appear relevant in search results, but also come from my areas of expertise.  The question is...how does Google determine that you are an "expert" vs. an amateur?

Unmana
Unmana

@photo chris "30. Miles. EVERY. DAY." I know, that's exactly how I felt. That, AND all the reading (okay, listening), and all the writing. You're my hero, Gini.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@EricPudalov Did you run today?!?!

I haven't found anything about how Google determines you're an expert, but this is what I've surmised:

It's based on relevancy, popularity, and the authority you've already created on your site. So, for instance, you'd want to get something published on Huffington Post for the authority, but it would also have to be relevant and popular...and in-depth, which means you're citing sources, doing more research, and providing context no one else does.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Unmana @photo chris LOL!! Keep in mind that I've been riding for eight years and it's been a gradual increase. When I was racing two years ago (before I thought it was a good idea to write a book), I rode 300 miles a week. Now I'm at 200-210 per week and I wonder how I did an additional 100. THAT was insane.

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