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schema.org for recipes, JSON-LD or Microdata?

When building a food blog, you need to rank in Google to get you visitors. Apart from great recipes and beautiful food photography, you need to make Google understand your recipes. Luckily, recipes are one of the items that are detailed in the schema.org structure. When searching for info on this, you’ll find several terms: Structured Data, Schema.org, JSON LD, Microdata. They’re basically all the same thing.

What microdata in your recipe does, is that it wraps a snippet of information like for example Cook Time, in a tag that search engines can understand. Schema.org is the standardised method of doing this. You can supply structured data either with JSON LD, or with microdata. In the case of JSON LD, the data is added as separate string in your website. It looks a bit like this:

{"@context":"http:\/\/schema.org","@type":"Recipe","description":"Quite simply the BEST chocolate cake for chocolate lovers."}

You see here some info, like what kind of data is provided here (recipe), and what the information is (description in the example above). This string will be inserted in addition to your recipe.

You can do the same thing with microdata, only in that scenario the data gets added to the html of your recipe.

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Recipe">
 <span itemprop="description">Quite simply the BEST chocolate cake for chocolate lovers.</span>
</div>

You see this contains the same information, only in this case it is included with your recipe’s html.

JSON-LD or Microdata?

So what should we use then? You’d think it’s better to add them both right? More data is better? That’s definitely a no! We have tested with this and if you add both JSON-LD and microdata, Google will think you have TWO recipes on your site. Warnings and errors may occur.

So we need to choose. And let’s face it, we choose what Google wants us to choose. This is not always transparent, but in the case of schema.org, Google has made it very clear:

“We currently prefer JSON-LD markup. I think most of the new structured data that are kind of come out for JSON-LD first. So that’s what we prefer.”

For this reason, Zip Recipes generates your recipe card with JSON-LD.

How to check if it’s configured correctly?

Google to the rescue! They provide a great tool with which to test your structured data. Simply enter your recipe’s page URL, and you can see the results.

Because lots of plugins insert structured data these days, it’s always a good idea to test this.

What do I get out of this?

Rich Snippets, and ranking. That’s what we’re aiming at here. Tak a look at this rich snippet. You can see Google has read the preparation time, the number of calories, and the rating, as well as the image from the Structure Data.

 

Fix Recipes Markup for Your Website

Recently Google sent emails to website owners that are a bit hard to understand:

Below, we’ll explain the problem and what you can do to fix it right away — it’s not that hard!

“Recipes [with] markup issues” you read?! Then you think I thought Zip Recipes actually handles this for me! In some cases, it’s just a matter of filling out some fields, like the keywords or Cuisine fields.

When you dig further in to the issue, you might discover that Google has these specific issues:

Let’s explain what each one means:

  • Missing field aggregateRating: this means that your recipes don’t have visitor rating information. Likely they don’t have the ability to rate them. Follow the steps in Solution 2 to solve this.
  • Missing field recipeCuisine: this means that you have not set a recipe cuisine when you created your recipes. Follow the steps in Solution 1 to solve this.
  • Missing field keywords: this means that you have no added keywords to your recipe. As of 6.0.4, this is a field in the Recipe editor. Just add some keywords!
  • Missing field video: this means that you have not set videos for your recipes.
  • Missing field nutrition: this means that you recipes lack nutrition information
  • Missing field author: this means that your recipes don’t have an author set
  • Missing field description: this means that your recipes are missing basic descriptions.

Solutions

The good news is that you can fix most of these issues today!
All of the above issues indicate that you did not add some information to your recipes that Google deems important.

Some of the fields are available in the basic (free) plan of Zip Recipes so you can apply them with minimal effort. Some other fields are available in our Friend and Lover plans.

  • Description can be set in the More Options section of the recipe entry screen:
    1. Edit your recipe
    2. Enter your recipe’s description in the Description field :
  • Recipe cuisine can be set in the More Options section of the recipe entry screen as well:
    1. Edit your recipe
    2. Enter the recipe cuisine in Cuisine:
  • Aggregate rating basically means recipe ratings.
    1. Upgrade to the friend plan
    2. Now you visitors can give your recipes a rating based on a 5-star rating system:
  • Author settings is the field that contains your name (you do want the credit for your recipes, don’t you?)
    1. Upgrade to the Friend plan
    2. Set yourself as the author of all your recipes in one step in Zip Recipes > Settings page:

 

Nutrition

    • data can be added to your English and Spanish recipes with 1 click! We call this feature

Automatic Nutrition.

    1. Upgrade to the Lover plan
    2. Edit your recipe
    3. Click Calculate Nutrition button to automatically calculate your nutrition information:
    4. You also get a Nutrition Facts label without any work!