Why you shouldn’t use google to find recipes!

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don't use google to find recipesHow do you usually find recipes?

Most people use google (or other search engines like bing or yahoo) to search for recipes. Some goes to their favorite site if its allrecipes or foodnetwork. That’s what i did when i wanted to find recipes but more and more i noticed that i see only few selected websites. Usually they are the bigger, more founded recipes websites. What about the small/niche blogs? that’s where you can find the interesting recipes.

WHY DO YOU SEE ONLY BIG SITES

So why is it? why do you see only the few websites when searching for recipes? In one one word – SEO. According to neil patel seo is:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.

In simpler words, all these big websites you are seeing in google are using SEO to appear higher in the search results for their recipes. They spend tons of time and money to make sure that if you try to find recipe the first results will be theirs. Its simply translate to money. You search, click, read and they make money (advertisement, content affiliation and other ways).

A single blogger rarely have the resources to compete with these websites and as a result, usually appear lower in the search results.

All this means that when you try to find a recipe (let’s say zucchini recipe) you will see the same recipes from the same websites. Nothing new and exciting.

FIND RECIPE REAL LIFE EXAMPLE

Lets see a real life example, Zucchini. According to google trends, zucchini recipe is the 5th most search recipe in the US in 2017. See the image below for google search results for zucchini recipe:

zucchini recipe search results in google

zucchini recipe search results in google

 

From the top 5 results, 3 of them are among the biggest general recipe websites out there (tasteofhome, foodnetwork and allrecipes).

Lets try another search, this time “homemade pizza”:

Homemade pizza search results in google

Homemade pizza search results in google

Again, out of the top 5 results you can see the same 3 websites. Its true that different people will see different results in google and you might see different websites for these search terms – try it yourself.

SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?

These big websites contains lots of recipes and information, they are great source for common and general ideas. There is nothing wrong with that, you can find there most of the things you like. So why should i care? Google is always trying to give you what you think its best – it does that by combining 2 aspects:

  • Users reaction and interaction with the content –¬†the more users view the website, link to it and share it, there is more chance google will rank the result higher.
  • Your own interaction with the website – the more you share content from a specific website or view its articles google will rank it higher FOR YOU.

After some time google will start to show you what you liked before – both in terms of website and content as well. You will see more and more recipes which seems familiar to you, their structure will be the same, their methods maybe even the recipe authors will start to become familiar. That’s just how google work.

I strongly believe, experimenting and opening to new ideas, techniques and writers will make cooking more fun. And taste better. And more fun.

Another point worth thinking about, most of the smaller personal blogs specialize in specific field of cooking – might it be Chinese, Italian, Veggie, Baking or Sous Vide. Their knowledge in their field of cooking allows them publish more authentic, accurate and interesting recipes. Finding these blogs in google is hard and sometimes even impossible.

For example, take one of my favorite blogs China Sichuan Recipes, the blog is full of amazing Chinese recipes. Most of these recipes will never be found in google’s top positions and this is completely our lost.

WHERE TO FIND RECIPES – THE GOOD STUFF

So what’s the solution? Some time ago i create Quick n’ Crispy to help me avoid searching for recipes in google. I collected the best of the food blogs i’m following and indexed them for searching. Since then I rarely use google as my first stop to find recipes. Only when Quick n’ Crispy doesn’t provide me with good results i turn to google. I try to browse at least 3-4 pages in the results and if i find a good blog or recipes source i add it to Quick n’ Crispy.

These are the results you get when you search for zucchini in Quick n’ Crispy:

zucchini results in quick n' crispy

zucchini results in quick n’ crispy

You might want to search for pizza as well and see the results by yourself.

Obviously there are other great options to avoid google, instagram, facebook, pinterest and your favorite blogs and websites.

If you know of a good recipes blog or website please let me know about it so i can make Quick n’ Crispy better!

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