Robert_Charlton - 9:10 am on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)
I should mention that I just saw a block of three, the first I've encountered, on a single word search. The block was at the end of the results page, not in the middle... and, major surprise to me, one of the publications that I feared might be too far from the mainstream to be considered (I've never seen it appear in Google News, eg) was the source of one of the three articles. It was a 5-pager, very long, very much in depth. It's not like this publication is unknown, but I can't imagine a local public library carrying it.
Additionally, I note in Greg Sterling's Aug 6, 2013 coverage of this new feature in SearchEngineLand [searchengineland.com...] the following postscript with a statement from Google...
Google has confirmed the block will appear in the center of the page. The company also said there was no "white list" as I suggested above. Here's a statement provided by a Google spokesperson:
"Our goal is to surface the best in-depth articles from the entire web. In general our algorithms are looking for the highest quality in-depth articles, and if that's on a local newspaper website or a personal blog, we'd like to surface it."