A recipe for great SEO.
Ever wondered why you can’t seem to find a simple recipe online without having to scroll through an essay about the author’s grandparents? Here’s Lucy Graham, Community Manager, with an explanation that’s much easier to digest.
We’ve all been there. Hungry, tired, you just want to make a quick meal after a long day. You find what you think is the perfect recipe and click on the link, but then – oh no! – what lies before you? A 1000 word life story and no recipe to be found. Why?
While scrolling for what feels like a lifetime may be frustrating, there actually is a pretty good reason for it.
Search Engine Optimisation.
But wait… what does that mean?
Search engine optimisation means maximising the number of visitors to your site by making it appear higher up in the search results. It’s suggested that longform content performs best for SEO – but that’s not the only reason for the essays. The writer also needs to use the correct language and keywords for the search results, and these can be fleshed out more in longer pieces of writing.
Copyright is another – potentially surprising – reason behind it. Recipes themselves cannot be protected under copyright. Longform writing, however, can be! Attaching the recipe to a blog can help the creator protect their work and mark it as their own.
While you’re scrolling, you may also notice something pop up between each paragraph. You guessed it! Long form content can also hold more ads! Each scroll helps the writer get paid for their work, meaning that food blogging can become a legitimate source of income.
And finally… maybe people just want to write about it. It may be that they have come up with this recipe after years of trial and error, and want to explain their reasoning behind each step. Maybe they have happy memories of making this recipe with their family when they were growing up. Or maybe they simply enjoy writing.
So is this really something we should be upset about?
Sure, it can come with its issues. Large walls of text can be quite inaccessible for some, like people who use screen readers – especially if there isn’t a “skip to recipe” button.
To try and tackle this issue, a Reddit user created a Chrome extension which compiles the recipe and delivers it to you as a pop up on the page. This can make the recipes themselves more accessible, and takes away the need to endlessly scroll.
However, it’s possible that this could affect the writers from getting revenue, as users will not see the ads on their page, and there won’t be any click-through (shout out to Natalie from our media team for this insight!). So, if you don’t mind hearing about sitting out on Grandma’s front porch in the autumn, it might be worth just scrolling past.
Now we know why bloggers make their recipe posts so long. Mystery solved!
When Lucy’s not solving mysteries and managing communities here at Puzzle, you can find them behind the camera or sewing machine on @lucygrahamfilm. If you’d like to work with a team who know their SEO from their SoMe, drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a great lemon scone recipe, too.