Google Becomes Your Sous Chef with Recipe Search

There are always dozens of excuses not to cook your own food, but the biggest one tends to be simply not knowing what to cook. After all, despite having well-stocked pantries, most of us don’t have the know-how to toss the ingredients together into something edible – let alone tasty. Well, Google is coming to the rescue once again, acting as your sous chef by providing you with incredibly advanced recipe searching.

While the collected data will be integrated into the standard SERP, the more advanced features will only be visible to those who navigate to the newly introduced “Recipes” section of the advanced search panel. That search panel, found in the left-hand column, probably won’t display “Recipes” in your default view, so just click the “More” option below Images, Videos, News, and Shopping (the four options that will be here by default).

Once you’re in the recipes section, you can conduct any search you see fit, ranging from the obscenely vague (“salad”) to the insanely specific (“vegan curry with potatoes, peas, and coconut”). You can even type in the ingredients you have available (“oatmeal, peanut butter, applesauce, vanilla, splenda”) and see what recipes you’re already set for. Or do you have a specific dietary need, such as restriction to low-carb, gluten-free, or vegetarian cuisine? You can simply type in the appropriate term and search through a broad range of recipes. Once the search is conducted, you can narrow down your results by the calorie count, time to cook, and necessary ingredients, all located in the newly expanded left-hand column.

These recipes, as well as the reviews for them, are all aggregated from other major sites, including the Food Network, Food.com, AllRecipes.com, and iFood. As the actual recipes aren’t displayed on the Google page, the search engine isn’t in direct competition with these sites, evading the controversy that occurred with the introduction of Hotpot (perceived by many of the travel search sites, which Google aggregated data from, as being a direct competitor).

This degree of detail in recipe search is a spearhead innovation for Google, but to some degree mimics the popular “/recipes” tag from Blekko. In any case, the highly specific search demonstrates the capabilities and trend toward developing task-specific data aggregation for search; it’s likely we’ll see a similar evolution in other areas and in competing search engines. Which “tag” do you think Google and Bingahoo should develop next?

[via the Google Blog]

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Google Becomes Your Sous Chef with Recipe Search



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