Google Recommends Concise Recipe Pages for Better SEO
Google recently discussed how to improve website SEO rankings by making more concise recipe pages. This was confirmed by John Mueller, a Google Search Advocate, during the Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout on 4 March. During the livestream, Mueller responded to a question from a food blogger about how creating several pieces of content on a single recipe impacts website SEO.
The person wanted to have a single page that only featured the recipe while putting all supporting information on other pages. They asked Mueller’s opinion on whether or not this technique can benefit their website SEO rankings more than putting all the information on a single recipe in one long page.
How to Separate Long Recipe Pages into Several Pieces of Content
Mueller thinks that creating a dedicated page for a recipe, and spreading supporting details to other pages, is an excellent strategy.
This was based on feedback from users who complained that they had to go through too much extra content on recipe pages before they could even get to the content they needed.
Mueller explains that it’s better to distribute content across several pages from Google’s perspective. He pointed out that, algorithm-wise, this method shouldn’t be a problem. It’s just that people tend to complain when they see long recipes on their feeds.
Thus, if site owners and food bloggers can separate the questions about the recipes and place them on a different page, that could actually help improve website SEO. However, the disadvantage of this technique is balancing the strength of each page.
The more content is created about a single recipe, the more diluted the keyword gets.
An excellent way to address this problem is to link all supporting content only to the main recipe. This way, Google can easily learn which page about the keyword or topic is the most valuable.
Mueller thinks that the tricky part is finding the balance when creating strong individual pages. For example, multiple recipes linked to each other can suddenly end up being two pages, which means Google has to index two pages per recipe.
In this context, Google will provide value to two pages per recipe, somewhat diluting things a bit. On the other hand, if SEOs and site owners only link FAQs from the recipe while the website’s primary content is the recipe itself, then Google can focus on the recipe.
Mueller then explained that if someone makes a search query about a part of the FAQ section of the recipe, then Google would show that page in the search results, which is another good approach for SEO.
Does Content Length Matter?
Generally speaking, the data has been consistent: the higher the average content length, the better.
However, most people have experienced browsing through the search engine results pages (SERPs), only to find out that the first-ranking link has minimal word count or very little to no useful information. Worse, some may even read through extensive content, only to discover that the information presented is long, repetitive, and offers little value to what they’re looking for.
The Role of Content Length in SEO Rankings
Search engines take several ranking criteria into account when evaluating web pages. There is no secret looking glass through which users may discover what precise combination of variables are taking place in Google’s algorithm.
There’s also practically no way for web admins to determine whether the users who become part of their website’s traffic prefer consuming long or short content.
However, other measurable factors can be explored, such as clicks, search terms, session duration, and conversions.
With these details, site owners can get an idea of the type of content their target audience may be looking for and whether they prefer to consume short or long content.
However, one thing is clear: Google shows its users consistently long content. But, the more important question is, what does this mean for the content creators?
In general, SEOs and publishers will want to prioritise readability and quality over word count, although delaying two weeks to publish a long piece may be more beneficial than posting 250-word items daily. To overcome the early stages of SEO, they will need longer legs.
A Reminder on FAQ Markup Overuse
Regarding FAQ markup, Mueller shared that Google is aware that some websites exploit this feature to gain more visibility in the search results.
As such, Google is now cutting down the number of FAQ-rich results displayed on the SERPs.
Mueller said that it’s not a problem from a structured data point of view as it is simply a way to get more room in the search results.
At the same time, he thinks this is primarily due to people creating multiple FAQs in the search results, which is not very useful for most users online.
Mueller raised this point to emphasise the importance of separating FAQ content from the recipe itself, making more sense for users.
He says that it makes sense to move that out of the user’s point of view and into a separate page. This way, Google will not be over-burdened with the results of all the supplementary data that comes with a single keyword or a simple topic.
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Recipe pages have all the potential to rank on Google’s SERPs. However, just like any other web page, they need to be structured and optimised correctly to have the best odds of ranking high. By hiring SEO specialists like us at position1seo.co.uk, you can ensure that your recipe pages are given the best chance to rank.
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