This question has come up a few times recently, so I thought I would add my thoughts on this topic to a blog post!
Many recipes have multiple parts, or multiple ways to modify a recipe to get a different result. Think: a homemade pasta recipe and a homemade pesto recipe. Or a pancake recipe with variations to make apple cinnamon, pumpkin, or banana pancakes.
When you have multiple recipes like this, the question becomes – what is the best way to publish these recipes?
Turns out there isn’t a super simple answer to this question, though I do have some recommendations.
When you publish recipes, you want to be thinking of your two main audiences: your readers, and the friendly Google SEO bot. 🤖 Let’s explore this question in the context of these two audiences.
Publishing multiple recipes for your readers
When it’s all said and done, the best thing we can do with our food blogs is to publish content tailored for our readers. You can optimize your content for search engines all day long but the truth of it is that if no one likes to read your content, your blog isn’t going anywhere.
When you have multiple recipes that need publishing, it’s best to ask yourself how your readers will best utilize these recipes. Will your reader want all of the variations in one recipe card? If they’re printing out your recipe, would the recipes be best printed separately, or would your reader prefer to save paper and have all of the variations in one recipe?
Sometimes recipes are similar, but the recipes aren’t close enough to include them all in one recipe. Take, for instance, a topic such as “3 ways to make sweet potato fries,” with the following options:
- Deep Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Skillet Sweet Potato Fries
- Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries
These different methods will no doubt have different ingredients and instructions, and therefore wouldn’t fit into one recipe card very well. Your reader is probably best served by being able to choose their preferred method and cook from that recipe.
Alternatively, take a topic such as “3 ways to flavor baked sweet potato fries,” with these flavoring options:
- Ginger & Cayenne
- Cumin & Paprika
- Herbs & Parmesan
The main ingredients and the instructions for all those recipes will be the same, so these three variations would all fit well into one recipe card. The ingredients can have sections titled “for the Ginger & Cayenne fries” to describe those ingredients. The reader is best served by having all of the options in one recipe because the overall recipe doesn’t vary much.
Publishing multiple recipes for SEO
Now we get to the other big question: how does publishing multiple recipes affect your SEO?
Good question! Google actually has a specific opinion about that:
So multiple recipes on a page with structured data is a definite “no.”
But what about your readers? What if they are best served by having all the recipes in separate recipe cards?
The simple answer is to publish them separately. Make a post for How to Deep Fry Sweet Potato Fries. And another one for Skillet Sweet Potato Fries. And another for Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
Yes, the recipes are similar. They all result in tasty sweet potato fries that will amaze your family. But the bottom line is that different recipes deserve different pages.
Think of it this way: SEO is all about matching the reader’s query to relevant web pages.
The reality is that your potential reader probably isn’t going to search for “3 ways to make sweet potato fries.” You might write the best article out there on that topic, but if no one searches for it then it’ll never be found (on Google – Pinterest is a different story due to the visual sharing aspect).
Ok, but what if I want to publish all three recipes on the same page?
Sometimes it makes sense to publish a post with multiple recipes for your already-engaged readers. Readers on your email list might really appreciate the different options, and they might like to see them all on one page. Or maybe you like to publish roundups of all the sweet potato recipes you’ve ever published on your blog. Or maybe a roundup of all the recipes that are great for cooking in February. What do you do in that situation if Google says “nope, sorry, only one marked up recipe per page!”?
You use Tasty Recipes!
The issue in Google’s eyes isn’t simply having multiple recipes on a page – it’s having multiple marked up recipes on a page. With Tasty Recipes, if there are multiple recipes on one page, no structured data is included. Simple as that.
It’s easy to re-use a recipe you already wrote in Tasty Recipes on another page. Learn more here: https://support.wptasty.com/tasty-recipes/how-do-i-re-use-a-recipe-on-another-page
Is duplicate content an issue?
Recipes generally aren’t a concern for duplicate content as long as the rest of the content on the page is different (i.e. it’s not a direct copy of the entire page with the exact same content throughout). Matt Cutts, a Google spokesperson, talked about this back in 2013, and it’s still relevant. You can read more here.
The bottom line is that Google will try to serve up the best content that matches the user’s query. If someone searches for “How to deep fry sweet potato fries,” they’ll probably see your article with that method before they’ll see the roundup post with all the methods.
Sum it all up for me.
- If the recipes have very similar instructions and ingredients, put them all in one recipe card with headers differentiating the different variations.
- Unless you want to rank for each variation individually, then follow the next recommendations.
- If the recipes have similar versions but different ingredients and instructions, publish each as a separate recipe in its own post.
- If you want to include a roundup of similar recipes in separate recipe cards, feel free to do so, but make sure each recipe is published as its own post as well for optimum SEO potential.