Category Archives: Alacra

Google adds in-depth articles to results

Google is rolling out a new addition to search results called “In-depth articles” (

“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.”

The articles appear as a block of three at the bottom of your results, if you only display 10 results per page, or in the middle of the page if you display more. As Google says, they appear if your search is fairly broad and they do not appear for every query. I had to run several different searches before I found an example. At present it is only available in

My search on thorium reactor started with a Wikipedia article at the top, which seems all too often to be the default.

 Search on thorium reactors top results

Further down the page was a block of three “in-depth” articles from Wired, Cosmos Magazine and Nature.

Google in-depth articles on thorium reactors

They do not appear at all if you use a Chrome Incognito window or your browser’s private browsing option. They also disappear if you apply Verbatim to your results.

How useful are these articles? They are certainly lengthy and in depth but only the one from Nature was fairly recent (December 2012). The one from Wired was published in 2009 and the Cosmos Magazine article appeared in 2006. I tried limiting my search to articles published in just the last year using Search Tools, Any time, Past year. The documents in the main results changed but the in-depth articles remained the same. The Nature article is highly relevant but there are more recent documents to be found than those from Wired and Cosmos. This raises the question as to how these articles are selected. I have not yet found any reliable information on how it is done, although Google’s Webmaster Central Blog has provided a checklist that may help get an article into the triumvirate ( The Moz Blog has run an analysis on 352 searches and found that the major news sources feature heavily (see for further details).

In theory, in-depth articles are a good way to find an overview of a topic but do check the dates. They may be horrendously out of date.

Research Recap

Alacra’s Research Recap pulls together industry, economic, academic, market, investment and credit research reports. It concentrates on free content but also offers links to selected paid research deemed of relevance to the topic. Priced reports are sourced from a wide variety of providers, including the Alacra Store. Much of the paid research is usually password-protected and will not show up in a Google-type search, but Research Recap has made arrangements with providers to review their proprietary research to determine what is appropriate to highlight for Research Recap’s audience. Research Recap does not claim to be comprehensive and may not include items that are widely circulated elsewhere.

Research Recap is published in blog format and is also available as an RSS feed.

Research Recap

AlacraSearch for industry and market sector searches

Alacra has launched a new search tool for industry and market sector information called AlacraSearch. It uses the Google Custom Search Engines and has approximately 12,000 Alacra chosen sites in eight categories:

  • Business & Trade Publications
  • Law Firms
  • Commercial & Investment Banks
  • Consulting and Accounting Firms
  • Educational Institutions
  • Market Research Firms
  • Trade Associations
  • Venture Capital & Private Equity Firms

The service is free and supported by advertising.

On the main search screen you type in your key words and select a category. On the results page you can easily switch categories. For example, having run a search on ‘beer UK market share’ in the Business and Trade Publications category I could switch to Trade Associations or Market Research Firms. Depending on which category you choose to search, you can further refine your results by industry or geography. Having carried out my initial ‘beer’ search in Business & Trade, I can narrow down the publications further by selecting Food & Beverage.


Alacra already has an industry research tool on Alacrawiki called Alacra Industry Spotlights that has a page for each industry describing the key resources for the sector. The Spotlights are ideal if you are new to a sector and need to get up to speed on the main publications. AlacraSearch complements Alacra Spotlights by enabling you to search these and other sources by keywords. I now regularly use both and find that they are an excellent way of quickly focusing on quality business sites.

Highly recommended if you are looking for a business information search tool.