Food + Technology = Google Recipes

27 Feb

Just read an article about a new search feature Google is offering. You can now search for recipes specifically. It’ll be interesting to see how Google applies its search algorithm to this one.

Google's new recipe search functionality

Google's new recipe search functionality

For instance:
What’s a recipe? A list of ingredients? A method to make something? Only a combination of those two things? An idea? (E.g., chop up some fresh lemongrass and pour boiling water over it, let steep for a few minutes and enjoy some lemongrass tea…) A photo?

How is “relevancy” established – to push a recipe up or down on the results – still only with clicks? Links in?

They are probably still working these things out. Meanwhile, the functionality includes a couple of nifty little add-ons including time to prepare, calories, ratings, ingredients to include or cut out, etc. Wondering how all this data is collected.

If I take a look at the results I get for a search for “chicken mole,” I find only about 5 or 6 sources on page one of the search results. Granted, some of these sources are indeed my “go-to” sources when I am looking for a recipe, but in general they tend to be pretty plain vanilla…If I am looking for a recipe for Chicken Mole, even better would be features like searching in multiple languages – i.e., Google should recognize the cultural origin of the recipe and be suggesting Mexican sites for me to take a look at. And then offering to translate…cause it does do that as well as we know….on the spot.

What would also be great would be results that return not only “text” pages, but ones that have multimedia on them. For instance, YouTube is a great source of “video” recipes. You don’t necessarily have any text or photos. Just a cook cooking the recipe for you.

And finally, what about suggesting the recipe of a famous chef as a sub-category of the search. I.e., I am not just looking for Chicken Mole, but the chicken mole recipe from Diana Kennedy….can Google give me that?

Anyway, good start Google! Keep going.

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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in Food + Technology, New Food Concepts


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