New Google feature in search results highlights in-depth content

A recent post on Google’s Official Search Blog identifies a new feature that curates content for broad topic searches. It looks like it is anti-TGD and its staff of dedicated transients and former convicts. Shame on Google for neglecting the ramblings of schizophrenic Adderall users at a time when they need page impressions the most.


Pandu Nayuk of Google wrote this in a post that subtly, but not so subtly says, you suck unless you are a famous author:

To understand a broad topic, sometimes you need more than a quick answer. Our research indicates perhaps 10% of people’s daily information needs fit this category — topics like stem cell research, happiness, and love, to name just a few. That’s why over the next few days we’ll be rolling out a new feature to help you find relevant in-depth articles in the main Google Search results. 

Now sometimes when you’re searching for a broad topic (on in English to start), you’ll find a new block of results like the following:

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.

I’m happy to see people continue to invest in thoughtful in-depth content that will remain relevant for months or even years after publication. This is exactly what you’ll find in the new feature. In addition to well-known publishers, you’ll also find some great articles from lesser-known publications and blogs. If you’re a publisher or webmaster, check out our help center article and post on the Webmaster Central blog to learn more.

Well, let’s be honest, I can’t piss off Google so, suffice to say, one of the recommendations for the search algorithm that delivers these results is not warm and fuzzy:

Authorship markup helps our algorithms to find and present relevant authors and experts in Google search results. Learn more about authorship.

We really don’t do SEO crap at TGD but this does mean we have to get a Google+ profile to be recognized and it kind of says that Google gets to decide, algorithm or no algorithm, what “in-depth” content has value. After we get a Google+ profile. We don’t want a Google+ profile. We don’t want a Facebook page. We don’t want a Twitter account. We can exist perfectly well without a virtual identity.

This is too much like content curation, which is fine, but effectively, it means that it will get harder for interesting stuff to be found unless it is already found and recognized. Catch 22 – part deux. How the algorithms work is a mystery because, no one knows except maybe someone at Google, and maybe not. Maybe it is a semi-sentient server that takes over while they Googleplex is having Spa Day. It’s like the formula for Coke except it gets revised every few months. Enough ranting. Google will punish me. I just know that the next Google Street View will show me lying in a pool of my own vomit somewhere off of 3rd Street.