Structured data (also known as Rich Results) for web pages is a great way to enhance your pages in the search results and per Google’s blog post earlier this week, there’s a new one to know about. If your website has recipe content, you will now see Guided Recipes listed in your GSC account on the left hand side, under enhancements. Depending on what information you offer in your recipe card currently, you’ll also likely see a lot of warnings and errors. As will all the errors you see in your GSC enhancements area (speed, mobile usability, logos, recipes, reviews), they do not impact your rankings or how Google views your website.
5 Things to know about guided recipes
1. This new structure data type is for Google Assistant traffic and will not impact your Search traffic in any way. Google Assistant is the product Google uses for voice search. With recipes, users value the step by step instructions and this is the set of code Google will be using to provide.
2. Guided recipes will pull the step by step directions right from your recipe card. If you have recipes on your site, you should be using a recipe card. So far, the only one that we’ve heard is already built to handle this new feature is WP Recipe card but the rest will soon follow.
3. The warnings and errors you see in your GSC are because of certain required or recommended data fields not being available. In order to fix, you’ll need to make sure the right information is included on the front end (user facing) of your recipe card. Here are some of the common errors and how to fix:
Either “image” or “video” should be specified = Each instruction must have an image or video
Either “text” or “itemListElement” should be specified = This means you have images or video but no text for the step by step instructions, you must have text with each image/video
RecipeInstructions must be defined at least 2 times = When you write the list of steps, you must have at least two
RecipeIngredients must be defined at least 2 times = You must have at least two ingredients listed in your recipe
Invalid string length in recipeIngredients field = Your ingredient must be shorter than 135 characters
With whatever recipe card you’re using, make sure that it’s actively maintained and that you’ve updated to the latest versions. Since the plugins themselves will have to update to include certain Guided Recipe fields, you’ll need to then update to their most recent version to get those included fields.
4. Every account will see these errors right now and that’s to be expected. As recipe card developers begin to update the code of the cards, your errors will decrease.
5. If you’re not using WordPress and do not use a recipe card, you can still include the code on your recipe pages. You can find the code to add and also a verification tool to check how it’s working here.
This should be low on your priority list. It’s important to remember that structure data types will only enhance your results and that Google does not penalize or devalue your site for not having it implemented. The use of voice search is increasing each year, but you still have time. As you create new recipes, make sure there are step by step instructions included but you don’t need to go back through every old recipe and update. It’s also a good idea to go through top performers and make sure that your recipe does include step by step instructions.