Google recipe search exploits semantic web data in RDFa

February 26th, 2011

Many people now use the Web to find recipes rather than their own collection of cookbooks and it is estimated that about one percent of all Google searches are for recipes. This past Thursday, Google released Recipe View in the US, letting you limit results to pages that are recipes and further narrow your search by ingredients, cooking time and calories. This feature is powered by semantic metadata encoded in RDFa and other formats

Google recipe search exploits semantic data in RDFa

Google describes the new recipe search in a post on the Official Google Blog:

“Recipe View lets you narrow your search results to show only recipes, and helps you choose the right recipe amongst the search results by showing clearly marked ratings, ingredients and pictures. To get to Recipe View, click on the “Recipes” link in the left-hand panel when searching for a recipe. You can search for specific recipes like [chocolate chip cookies], or more open-ended topics—like [strawberry] to find recipes that feature strawberries, or even a holiday or event, like [cinco de mayo]. In fact, you can try searching for all kinds of things and still find interesting results: a favorite chef like [ina garten], something very specific like [spicy vegetarian curry with coconut and tofu] or even something obscure like [strange salad].”

Recipe View extracts data embedded in Web pages that is encoded in Google’s rich snippets format. This includes both the W3C Semantic Web standard RDFa as well as microformats. Google recognizes a simple recipe vocabulary with fourteen properties.

This is a great example of the potential of semantic web technology that can be understood and appreciated by anyone with an interest in cooking. Or eating.