Google is dropping the title and images snippets from in-depth articles in SERPs
Google has made a pretty dramatic change to the way it displays In-Depth articles in its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Historically, Google has always segmented them with a Section Title and displayed an Image Snippet for each result, which made them stand out on result pages. This is now no longer the case and In-Depth articles now appear with both Section Title and Images removed, so they are no longer segmented from the rest of the results.
How Google used to display In-Depth Articles
For those unaware of In-Depth articles, they have been around since mid-2013 and appear within the SERPs for a variety of broad search terms and high volume search topics. For example, smart phone, jobs, post-traumatic stress disorder or Justin Bieber. These terms have a wealth of high-quality sources of content, thus warranting a separate space in the results.
Google has been testing this new display method for about a month and seem to have made the change permanent, although they have yet to make a formal announcement.
How Google now displays In-Depth Articles
So what does this all mean?
Well, Google seem to be doing more and more to muddy the lines between organic search results and other sources from its knowledge graph, such as these In-Depth articles. For now, I don’t see this as having a huge impact on businesses trying to be found in Google’s SERPs. However, it does mean that standing out in these result pages with well written page titles, meta descriptions and rich snippets, such as review star ratings, is going to become more important than ever.
If however, you were using In-Depth articles as part of your marketing strategy, they are certainly not going to stand out as much as they used to. Users won’t be drawn to them as a source of detailed content as easily as before, so you may need to rethink your approach.