Why Google won’t generate rich snippets
There may be a number of reasons why you aren’t seeing rich snippets in the search results for your pages. Here’s a checklist of things you need to have correct to have the best chance of getting snippets shown. Note that Google doesn’t guarantee that they’ll show snippets even if you have everything right.
Does your post actually generate a snippet?
Google has a testing tool that verifies that at least the markup on your page is correct. Note that even if everything is technically correct and the test tool generates a snippet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a snippet will be shown in the search results. You can access the test tool at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
EasyRecipe Plus does the snippet check automatically as soon as you publish a post. You can read more about that here: http://www.easyrecipeplugin.com/snippet-preview.php
We also have a free plugin that will check your entire site for snippet generation here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/easysnippet/
If the test tools reports everything is technically OK, keep reading! You may be breaching Google’s guidelines.
Do you follow Google’s guidelines?
The first thing to do is to check that you are following all Google’s guidelines for snippet generation. Here’s a list of what Google requires:
Is your marked-up content hidden from users?
In the context of EasyRecipe, about the only way you can have hidden content is by using Live Formatting or Extra CSS to explicitly set font sizes to very small values (like 1 or 2 px) or by having “display:none” styling on something in the recipe. Unless you have specifically done this, then nothing in your EasyRecipe will be hidden.
Is your markup incorrect or misleading?
You can be confident that the markup generated by EasyRecipe is technically valid. If you’re using EasyRecipe to show recipes (some folks do use it for other purposes), then it’s very unlikely you’ll end up with “misleading” markup.
Is your marked-up content representative of the main content of the page?
This is one area that’s squarely in your court. If the main part of your post is something totally different from the recipe, that may be a reason why Google doesn’t show snippets. However experience shows us that a general blog post with a related recipe isn’t penalized. An example is http://www.orgasmicchef.com/bread/its-been-a-busy-summer-and-some-lovely-fruit-buns/ which shows a snippet in the search results even though the recipe is a small part of the post itself.
Have you supplied enough information?
Specifically, for recipes, Google requires that:
rich snippets are currently only shown for recipes that provide at least two of the following:
- prepTime, cookTime, totalTime, or ingredients
As long as you enter values for these things in the recipe you can be confident that EasyRecipe will generate all the required markup for them. If you have at least a photo and cooking times, you should meet the minimum requirements. The “review” stuff is added automatically by the recipe rating system in EasyRecipe.
Have you only recently updated your content?
It takes time for snippets to appear in the search results. How long? About as long as a piece of string. Only Google knows and they won’t tell you. We suspect it depends on a range of factors but obviously one of the most important factors is how often Google scrapes your pages. If you’ve just started your blog and have just a few visitors, Google probably won’t scan your site anywhere near as often as a well established, popular site.
Does your markup include incorrect nesting?
As long as you haven’t fiddled with the recipe HTML directly, you won’t have incorrect nesting in EasyRecipes.
Reviews: Does your review use
count instead of
This is not an issue for EasyRecipes.
Still having problems?
If you seem to meet all the requirements but you still don’t see rich snippets for your site in Google search results, you can contact Google and ask why at https://support.google.com/webmasters/contact/rich_snippets_feedback
There is one other possible cause and although this seems to have become a non-issue since the early part of 2013, it might be worthwhile investigating. You can read more about that here: http://www.easyrecipeplugin.com/support/errors-and-warnings-in-the-rich-snippet-test-tool/