In the food blogging sphere, Guided Recipes have been the talk of the town lately. Chances are you’ve recently received emails from Google notifying you of all your posts affected by Guided Recipes issues. Here’s what Google has to say about it:

Over the past two years, Google Assistant has helped users around the world cook yummy recipes and discover new favorites. During this time, web site owners have had to wait for Google to reprocess their web pages before they could see their updates on the Assistant. Along the way, we’ve heard many of you say you want an easier and faster way to know how the Assistant will guide users through a recipe.

We are happy to announce support for Guided Recipes in Search Console as well as in the Rich Results Test tool. This will allow you to instantly validate the markup for individual recipes, as well as discover any issues with all of the recipes on your site.

New reports for Guided Recipes on Assistant in Search Console

So what the heck does all of this mean? We’re here to demystify that for you. 🔮 In this post, we’ll talk about:

Let’s do this!

What are Guided Recipes?

As Google alluded to in their announcement, Guided Recipes allow smart home devices to, well, guide users through a recipe.

The idea is that the device will walk you through the recipe step-by-step via voice with visual aids. So imagine a device like the Google Nest Hub (pictured below) guiding you through a chocolate chip cookie recipe with images showing up as you go through each step:

The future is now, I guess? 🤖

With this recent update, Google’s now encouraging recipe sites to add specific pieces of information to their recipes so that they can count as a Guided Recipe. This lets Google know that smart home devices can pick up on your recipes and walk people through them.

What you’re seeing in your Google Search Console

As we mentioned before, you most likely received an email from Google telling you that “your site is affected by so and so instances of Guided Recipes markup issues.” Anytime these emails go out, you can bet your bottom dollar that some changes are afoot. 😱

Their recommendation is to go through the search console and fix the affected pages. If you open up your search console, you should see the new Guided Recipes section on the left-hand side:

Guided Recipes option in Google Search Console

If you click into this section, you may see a number of warnings and errors, such as:

  • Missing field "contentUrl" : This is Google asking for direct links to videos within your steps (more on that below!).
  • Missing field "name": Google is looking for you to name the steps that you’re listing out in your recipe. So for example, you might have a set of steps named “Dough Prep” or “Cake Decoration.” With Tasty Recipes this is as easy as bolding your text (get all the details below).
  • Missing field "url": Similar to the Jump to recipe buttons, you can add anchor links to steps so that users can quickly skip over to whichever one they’d like. Tasty Recipes automatically adds these links to your instruction step.
  • Either "image" or "video" should be specified: This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Nowadays, a lot of smart home devices have screens, so it’s ideal to have an image or video associated with a step.

How we updated the Tasty Recipes plugin to address these issues

Missing field “contentUrl”

When Google rolled out this update, one of the main things we had to take a look at was the Missing field "contentUrl" error. If you use Tasty Recipes, you’re in luck! We updated the plugin recently to fix this error – read more about it in our post Fix for ‘contentUrl’ Google Rich Snippet error – Tasty Recipes 2.6.1.

contentUrl error in Google Search Console

As a reminder, if you use video in your posts and are experiencing these errors in Google Search Console, remember to validate the fix after you’ve updated the plugin!

Missing field “name”

Interested in adding the instruction step ‘name’ field for Guided Recipes? It’s as easy as bolding your text! That’s right, just bold the copy you would like to use as the step name and you’re done. The semicolon after the name is automatically removed from your structured data, so no worries there!

Simply apply the bold attribute to the text you would like as your title from inside the recipe card editor.

Missing field “url”

With Tasty Recipes we like to make things easy, so easy there’s nothing left to do! Tasty Recipes automatically adds these links to your instruction step. Sit back and relax. 😎

What you need to do about Guided Recipes

The thought of making edits to every single one of your recipes might send you running for the hills but we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to rush to revamp your entire workflow! 🎉

As of this post date, Guided Recipes account for a very small percentage of site traffic for most bloggers. Very, very small. In addition to low traffic, it isn’t a traffic source bloggers are currently able to monetize. So those two things together should help give a little perspective.

One thing to keep in mind here is that apart from the contentUrl error, the rest of the items listed are just warnings, also known as suggestions. Google won’t penalize you for not acting on these right away.