If you want to find a ripped-off copy of the KFC recipe for chicken, or Mrs. Fields’ Chocolate Chip Cookies, search engines like Google are ready to do your bidding. And actually, there’s some question as to whether recipes can even be copyrighted.
For that matter, the entire question of whether copyright is still even a meaningful topic is clouded by the way the Internet works. And don’t get me started on how easy it is to “borrow” the words of others and make buckets of money.
Search Engines (and Search Engine Optimization) create enigmatic problems. Sure, everything is easy to find, but everything is also pretty simple to twist, steal, and otherwise misappropriate. And no matter how many “rules” get thrown at the issues surrounding search engines, technology comes at a price.
Google has recently made searching for recipes easy, and all but transparent. I typed “vegetarian chili” into Google, and it was smart enough to not only spit back search results consisting largely of recipes, but now includes a “recipes” category and tools to make narrowing the search for specific recipes very simple:
I was pleased to see that my personal favorite recipe for vegetarian chili was at the top of the list, by the way. And hey: I’m a devout meat eater, so you can trust me: this is one yummy vegetarian chili recipe!
Here’s what’s really cool about Google Recipe Search (and what’s not so cool):
The fact that search engines are moving beyond the realm of “let’s create a big index and hope something useful comes out” is a huge, and welcome, business change. And of course the fact that it works automatically is both amazing and “correct”; there’s a page for Google Recipe Search, but if you need to know it exists and go there to use it, its value drops precipitously.
On the other hand, the way that Google Recipe Search and similar tools are designed weighs them toward finding recipes that are hosted at huge media companies like The Food Network. So Google Recipe Search is less about searching for recipes than it is about finding recipes that companies with big budgets put together. That’s right; Search Engine Optimization is controlling results from Google Recipe Search even more than it controls more generic Search Engine results.
Can there be any question left in your mind about how important Search Engine Optimization really is?
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