So last year, there was a lot of buzz about tech nerds in the kitchen, and scientists in haute cuisine. This year opened with food bloggers who will need to learn some computer programming — if they want anyone to find their recipes on Google. I wrote about this in today’s Boston Globe.
To drive its “Recipe View”, which appears automatically on searches that appear to be for recipes, Google has created a whole language of hidden “tags” that, in the non-visible part of the web page, describe the recipe in great detail. With this information, the Google results page can do whizzy things like sort chicken picatta recipes by prep time, or exclude those that involve sherry (please!). Google tries to make this sound simple to recipe authors by giving the language the cute name “rich snippets.” For the technically brave, Google describes the how to do it here.
As clever and useful as these codes are, they’re not simple to include just yet. As some point, WordPress and other publishing platforms might provide a nice recipe-entry interface and inject the codes into the page for for you. For now it’s a very manual and programmery process, but one that the biggest recipe sites are already quite diligent about following. They live on the oxygen of Google search traffic.