In today's post, we're going to talk about the ISO 8601 structured data warning. If that sounds like a load of mumbo jumbo to you, fear not! We are here to break it all down for you.

First things first, let's take a look at what that warning would look like in your Google Search Console:

Here, the error is specific to the “cookTime” but it's worth noting that it can be applied to the “prepTime” and/or “totalTime” as well. As you can already guess, this is related to the cook, prep, and total times that you enter into your recipe card, like so:

Now that we've nailed that down, let's go over what ISO 8601 means. ? ISO actually stands for International Organization for Standardization and this is what they have to say about ISO 8601:

ISO 8601 tackles this uncertainty by setting out an internationally agreed way to represent dates:


For example, September 27, 2012 is represented as 2012-09-27.

ISO 8601 can be used by anyone who wants to use a standardized way of presenting:

– Date
– Time of day
– Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
– Local time with offset to UTC
– Date and time
– Time intervals
– Recurring time intervals


What this all boils down to is that the way you write out your Prep, Cook, and Total times should adhere to ISO's standards. More specifically, the time fields must have the time written out in minutes, hours, or a combination thereof.

For example, the following are valid inputs for the time fields:

  • 15 minutes
  • 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 65 minutes
  • 15 minutes (plus cooling time)
  • 15 minutes (plus 5 minutes cooling time) ⬅ this would only use the “15 minutes” in the total time calculation
  • 15 minutes (includes cooling time)
  • 15 minutes (at high pressure)
  • 15 minutes (up to 20 minutes)

The following are not valid inputs for the time fields and will result in erroneous Total Time calculation:

  • 15 minutes plus cooling time
  • 1 hour, including cooling time
  • 20 minutes at high pressure
  • 15-20 minutes
  • 1h15m
  • 30m

As long as you keep these formatting rules in mind, you should be able to steer clear of any ISO 8601 warnings!