Has been fished before by a recipe that tops your Google searches but proves successful meh if you do it yourself Google means well by favoring longer, keyword-rich posts, videos and studio-quality photography in its algorithm. However, the result is a conveyor belt of consistent content food blogs designed to meet constantly changing search engine optimization (SEO) criteria.. Home cooks can find it difficult to find recipes online that taste as good as they look.
My relationship with the subject is complicated: As a writer, cookbook editor, and recipe tester, I’m appalled by the lack of creativity in food blogs today, and I’ve noticed that more and more recipe developers are prioritizing SEO over quality and accuracy. At the same time, as a food blogger dependent on monthly ad revenue (based on page views), I’m an intrepid contributor to the assembly line of formulaically structured recipe websites, and I know firsthand that –At least for now– Adjust posts to Google’s search algorithm is crucial to the income of digital content creators. Finally, as a busy person and the head of my household’s food and nutrition department, I just want to quickly find recipes I can trust so I can get on with my life.
Here are five pro tips for more efficient online searches:
Use specific search terms
It’s tempting to type “best spanakopita recipe” into Google, but what does that even mean?
“I think the biggest challenge with SEO is that there really isn’t a ‘best’ option when it comes to recipes,” says Ann Baum, co-founder of buried. “In the end, Google will show you the recipes that are most likely to be clicked on and on whose pages the most time is spent, but I think we all realize that there are times when this indicator is the quality of a recipe not reflected perfectly.”
Start by asking yourself, “What qualities am I looking for in this recipe?” If speed is your top priority, search for “spanakopita recipe that can be made in 30 minutes or less.” If you want to prepare the dish in its most authentic form, search “traditional Greek spanakopita recipe”. If you’re planning on making it for a party rather than dinner, search “Handheld Spanakopita Appetizer for 12”.
Compare different options
Not all developers are as good at recipe development as they are at search engine optimization (SEO) and vice versa. So if you’re looking for a dish you’ve never made before, it helps to compare a few different recipes – maybe even from different pages of search results. From the top 5, I like to pick one that catches the eye, well produced, then one or two others that sound good but don’t rank as well. Then I skim the recipes side by side. Does one have a completely different cooking time than the others? Does one post have helpful variations, time-saving tips, or ingredient substitutions that I can apply to the other recipes?
“It’s so easy to just take someone else’s recipe, tweak it a bit, and blog it,” says Dianne Jacob, food writer and cookbook trainer. When comparing posts, you may find that most of the search results on the first page are based on the same original recipe. “Then,” she suggests, “you can decide what you like,” or find the original version and create that.
Read the comments (with care)
As a food blogger myself, I am aware that not all comments should be taken seriously. Some reviewers have given me 1-star ratings because I “made” them by clicking a link to prepare the pizza sauce in a pizza recipe’s ingredient list. Others, while not replicating the recipe, insist that “there’s no way this pizza dough will work,” branding the post with their outraged review.
However, when I’m searching the depths of the internet for a specific recipe – especially a dish I’ve never made before – I find reviews helpful (their ones, anyway). real). For example, sometimes readers report discovering a substitute or variation that makes the dish even better. Or, if a recipe says “season to taste,” commenters may offer more specific seasoning suggestions. The more thoughtful comments a recipe post has, the more tested and approved by real people like you and me.
Stick with recipe authors you trust
Before opening your search across the web, ask other home cooks you love about their favorite food bloggers and recipe creators, or search for them by name. This will help support the creators who care most about quality – every click counts! — and it increases the likelihood of a successful dinner.
“There are many ways recipes gain trust,” says Baum. “Maybe you know of a particular blog and have made their recipes before, or maybe your friend sends you the recipe and says, ‘I made this and it turned out great.'”
Baum also recommends checking out social media for reliable recipe developers, where you can “see what’s happening behind the scenes and get a sense of the thought and work that goes into creating great recipes.”