Google heads into the kitchen with new recipe search feature

google heads into the kitchen with new recipe search feature doodle logo thanksgiving ina gartenGoogle wants to be your sous chef the next time you’re planning a meal. Well, sort of. The Internet giant would at the very least like to help you select a recipe. (For the time being, you’ll still have to dice your own veggies.) This week, Google unveiled Recipe View, a new way to search for and filter recipes on the Internet.

The feature lets amateur chefs (and even professional chefs, we suppose) filter the Web to only show pages with specific recipes. Simply select “recipes” from the sidebar on the search results display page, and voila, only pages that contain instructions for making steak tartar, candied yams or whatever it is that’s prompted you to preheat your oven. If you select a more broad category, say “thanksgiving,” you’ll get a list of recipes associated with that term. Search results can be further filtered by ingredients, cooking time and even by number of calories.

google heads into the kitchen with new recipe search feature picture 1What allows Google find and display pages with carefully parsed recipes? The key is in structured data — something that has been sorely lacking in the relatively brief history of World Wide Web.

Wired offered this explanation:

The entire search is built on structured data that webmasters have built into their webpages using markup code that’s invisible to humans but is extremely useful to machines. The dream of the so-called semantic web is built upon the idea that web pages will be full of such underlying tags so that search engines can parse a webpage to learn someone’s e-mail address or know exactly what a restaurant’s operating hours are by scanning underlying code invisible in the browser…The dream of a structured web has proven nearly impossible to create in practice as it requires coordination on building specs and then that web page builders take the time to mark their pages up in complicated XML

The lack of an established practice of marking up content really hinders an operation like Recipe View. And it shows. After performing a couple of searches through Recipe View, it’s clear that the feature leans heavily on bigger sites that are likely to be carefully marked-up to be more search engine-friendly. That means you’ll be seeing a lot of results from recipe aggregation sites like All Recipes, Epicurious and the Food Network, but nary a dish from someone’s personal cooking blog. It’s not a big deal, but don’t expect to find anything beyond the well-grazed options that you could likely uncover with a little scrolling through the results of Google’s standard search.

However, as Web designers and developers adapt better structure into their coding, search functions like Recipe View will become more accurate, more comprehensive and more attuned to the subtleties of human language. Who knows,  as we recently saw IBM’s Watson conquer humans in Jeopardy, maybe we’ll one day see a computer crowned Top Chef.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Computing

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Computing

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.
Computing

Amazon takes $300 off Intel Core i7 Surface Pro 6 in latest sale

If you're looking for savings on the Surface Pro 6, Amazon is the place to shop. It currently is discounting the Intel Core i7 variant of Microsoft's latest 2-in-1 by $300, though no Type Cover is included.
Computing

Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Computing

Don't keep typing the same thing -- learn to copy and paste with these shortcuts!

Looking for useful Windows keyboard shortcuts? The most common are the cut, copy, paste and undo shortcuts compatible with all kinds of tasks. They can save you an awful lot of time if you learn how to use them.
Computing

You can now get a Surface Laptop 2 for $800 at the Microsoft Store

Along with deals on other variants, starting configurations of Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 are now going for $800 online at its retail store, cutting $200 from its usual $1,000 starting price. 
Computing

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.
Computing

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Computing

You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook

Chrome OS users may soon be able to doodle all over their PDF documents with the possible addition of a new feature in Chrome OS' PDF viewer. The annotation feature is expected to allow users to hand draw or write over their documents.