March, 2011 –  In late February Google launched a new search tool called Recipe View. Recipe View is a new search feature that helps users find recipes from across the web. It allows filtering of search results to show only recipes. After searching for a recipe or ingredient on Google, select “Recipes” in the left-hand panel on the search results page. The Recipe view feature shows up underneath other search options such as Shopping, News, and Videos.

The new feature not only can assist users with a specific recipe query, e.g., ‘corned beef and cabbage’ but it can also help find recipes according to ingredient and even by topic or event. So if you are looking for dishes that include thyme you can simply type ‘thyme’ into the search box and then activate the recipe view for detailed results. If you were interested in dishes that were appropriate for a ‘wedding’ or for ‘Saint Patrick’s Day’ then you would start with these queries and then activate the recipe view on the search result page. Currently the primary filters allow you to include/exclude ingredients or to view dishes by preparation time or by calorie amounts.

Google estimates that about one percent of queries on the search engine are for recipes. Google’s foray into this field is probably based more on the underlying technology that powers the searches than it is by the search engine wanting to get into the food business. They do not actually maintain any of the recipes themselves, instead they link to sites that host the recipes. However, in order to be included in the search engine results companies must format their recipe pages so that they are built using structured data. This essentially means that sites must write their recipe pages so that they are readable not only by humans looking at the web page but by Google’s bot that looks for recipe information in the meta-data code of the webpage. Currently only large sites such as the Food Network and Epicurious are wrapping their published recipes in meta-data.

Recipe view is intended to assist all users in the search for recipes online. That said, it can be useful for chefs and other food pros who occasionally search for ideas and trends on the Internet. While Google may not be targeting the professional chef with its latest offering its marketing campaign includes a video starring Scott Giambastiani, Executive Chef at Google who explains how the feature works: