Cost of Living·LISTEN

Why online recipes are hidden beyond paragraphs of foodie nonsense

If you've ever searched for a recipe online, you'll know the instructions often seem buried under paragraphs of description, photos — even life stories. But why do we have to scroll through so much other stuff to find the actual recipe?

Search engine optimization is the name of the game when it comes to online instructions

If you've ever wondered why you have to scroll past stories, photos, seemingly unrelated anecdotes and more to get to a recipe online, you are not alone. You can thank SEO — or search engine optimization — for all that extra scrolling. (Cherries/stock.adobe.com)

If you've ever searched for a recipe online, you've probably noticed finding the list of ingredients is not as simple as you might think.

Most online recipe posts follow a familiar structure. The recipe will be buried at the end of the post.

Way past a description, long below sometimes unrelated anecdotes, you'll finally find the photos and instructions for the food you are hoping to make. Sometimes you have to learn about , say, why a writer's great uncle loved a particular shade of green before finding out just what type of lettuce to add to that salad.

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The strategy behind this structure is all about search engine optimization — or SEO.

Cost of Living producer Madeleine Cummings caught-up with a Winnipeg food blogger to find out why we have to scroll through so much other stuff to find the recipe instructions we're seeking.


Click the play button above the story to hear this segment, or download the Cost of Living podcast.

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