Food blogs are a changin’. If you didn’t know, the new Google recipe search promises to change a lot in food blogging. With about 1% of all searches being for recipes, it’s a big market out there. The “big boys” have full time IT departments and programmers. They have also had many months head start converting their vast recipe library. The home food bloggers not so much.
Most of us have just heard of this in the last month or so. No IT or on staff programmers here. Just little old me. I may be a little more able than some bloggers due to a lot of computer experience (BS Iowa State 1972 with a minor in computer science which is worth zero now) and a lot of programming years ago, but really neither I nor other food bloggers are able to easily convert to this new format.
We have all developed our individual “styles” of posting. Really the exact format didn’t really matter to anybody much. It’s the recipe and the story not the format.
Food bloggers on WordPress have several options with plugins but none for Blogger. But really those plugins will help with new posts but won’t convert old post to the new format. New post will be only minimal more work and since I’m using a technique that includes a print option I will no longer need to “double post”. I have really two sites, this one and a site on GoogleSites that serves as a file server for printable versions of my recipes. By not doing the second post I may actually save time.
But what to do with the old posts??????????? There will be no “automatic” method. You can hope but it would take a lot of AI (artificial intelligence) to correctly interpret your old posts. Not going to happen. So your only answer will be to manually convert. But it does not mean you need to do hand entered HTML.
UPDATE Aug 20 2011: There is a print button issue with this method at least on blogger. See my post dated Aug 20 2011.
RecipeSEO – has a WordPress plugin and an online application. I had not too much luck with the online converter and had to manually edit some of the HTML to get what I wanted. See more discussion here.
AmazingRibs.com has an excellent post with lots of detail that is a ton more readable than the Google help pages. Give Meathead a try.
The Google Help Site - Tells you what you need to know but maybe so you really can’t understand it.
The Rich Snippet testing tool – A MUST USE to tell you if you did it right.
The “Interested in Rich Snippets” page. It appears just using Rich Snippets is not enough but you need to tell Google you are doing it. Apparently takes a while if at all.
Recipe Wiz - I love you… really this is making my live easier. See my method below.
What I wanted.
1) I type OK but not really fast so I needed to “drag and drop” parts of recipes.
2) I wanted a print function. This would save the double post I have been doing.
3) It had to pass the Google test tool.
4) It had to be quick. At 30 minutes per post over about 160 posts that is OH MY GOD… It needs to be faster.
What I got.
1) I can do the Snippet in about 10 minutes give or take some depending on the number of ingredients and instructions.
2) I will need to manually add code lines if I want nutrition info.
3) A zero cook time (like a rub) requires manually editing but only a little.
4) Changing the font size etc is ok.
1) Open two browsers side by side. Your blog on the left and Recipe Wiz in the right window.
2) Fill in the date of your post in Wiz and then start highlighting things in your post and drag and drop them in the Wiz fields. If your ingredients have sections like mine they can go in as a ingredient. For example, if my ingredients have a section that is a “Rub” I enter “Rub” as an ingredient but no amount. I will later after I paste the code into my post make Rub bold and in the editor.
3) When done. Get the code and go to your posting editor. Pick Edit HTML and go to the bottom of the HTML code and past your Snippet to your post.
4) While your are there, you should also tell your readers and Google you update your post so enter something like this (with the correct date) at the very end.
5) Now flip back to your Compose tab (in blogger) and check it out. This is where I would change the formatting on the “Rub” subingredient header. I also enlarge the Instruction and Ingredient headers.
BLOGGER ALERT:If you are a Blogger user, you need to disable the pictures on comments or you get errors. I don’t know how important this is because even though I have asked on their help board. No answer was posted. Go to the Settings tab, the comments and go down to “Show profile images on comments?” and click “no”.
Post what you’re doing about this.
UPDATE: Jan 2 2012 After resubmitting the site to Google about 6 times my snippets are just now appearing on the Google general search. Nothing on the recipe search yet… Maybe tomorrow…