Google Recipe Tool Delights Searchers, Stomachs

January 3rd, 2012

One of my favorite SNL skits is the NPR Delicious Dish episode with Alec Baldwin. I love food, eating, enjoying, staring, and smelling unique flavors to excite my palate. And, in fact, my post today will be centered on FOOD!

Currently at Razorfish, I work with a CPG client on the paid search side of the house. I get exposed to the “food industry” and all the latest trends or buzz surrounding food both offline and online.  Earlier this year, Google released the “Google Recipe Tool”, which foodies and non-foodies alike, jumped on-board. The feature lets users filter search results according to ingredients, cook time, calories and more. Users can search, for instance, for recipes containing certain ingredient, devised by a certain chef, and even narrow down to how long the item takes to prep and cook. Pictures, ingredients and one- to five-star user ratings are highlighted in the listed results, helping users quickly discover or bypass recipes.

Google Recipe Tool

However, with this sudden influx of searches on the Google Recipe Tool, the search engine decided to do something with this data. Google created the Consumer Food Index, a handy internal tool that was created to gauge recipe and food search queries, trends and seasonality. For me, that is called “winning” because the team and myself now have access to see what you, the consumer, is searching on, what kind of food you love, tips/tricks, and popular recipes. The beauty of this is that our team can make a stronger connection between a brand and consumer based on this data.  That is what I like to call, making online paid search magic.  For our team to create this “magic” and have access to this data, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • This data is not available to the public. Sorry Mom.
  • The queries are a request made to your Google Reps.
  • The Data Dump of the queries comes in a raw excel file. Thousands upon thousands of queries. *Google is hoping to find an easier way to extract the data, but in the meantime, your search team has the chance to get down and dirty with the data.

This tool is even more valuable to a paid search marketer, since Q4 is the largest volume of search on recipes, snack ideas and holiday meals.  The chart below highlights spikes in search around Q4.

Google Trends in Food and Drink

Why is this even relevant to you…? As a search marketer, it is crucial to have more data available to identify valuable insights within the user’s behaviors throughout the search process.  Gaining as much insight as possible into the consumer behavior, activities happening offline and online, will ultimately lead to a more positive online experience for the user. In addition, it will also establish a stronger connection with the user to the brand.

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