Case study: Recipe for success

Friday, October 13, 2006 at 11:31 AM

By Daniel Anguiano, Product Marketing Manager

One popular type of information uploaded to Google Base is cooking recipes. Search for [recipes] on Google and you'll be able to refine your search by cuisine type and by course. Tens of thousands of them can be found on Epicurious.com, a CondéNet website devoted to sharing recipes and tips for cooking, entertaining, and cocktails. The site already has a loyal following of tons of visitors, but wanted to take advantage of Google Base to reach out to all the other cuisine lovers out there in order to increase its traffic.

With the aim of maximizing the power of Google search, the Epicurious.com team decided to try Google Base on April 2006 by submitting 20,000 recipes via a bulk upload file. However, once the content was uploaded, they were surprised to find that traffic hardly changed. Based on this disappointment, the Epicurious team consulted with us and learned that the key was to include more relevant attributes that would help people more easily find Epicurious.com's content.

By adding attributes such as cuisine, course, and main ingredient to recipes, Epicurious.com immediately noticed a 6% jump in site traffic. According to Dan Shar, Epicurious.com's Director of Site Intelligence and Advertising Operations, "Once we added attributes to our content, we realized that Google Base is a terrific way to drive incremental traffic." Since then, the number of incremental new visitors has grown steadily. By July 2006, traffic to Epicurious.com was the highest ever experienced, in part because Google Base makes it easier for more people to find the site through Google.

The CondéNet team is now working to better categorize their content on Google Base to improve search outcomes even more. In addition, they're looking to expand beyond recipes to expose more content to Google search - for example, with travel and destination guides from Concierge.com, and fashion designer directories from both Style.com and Men.Style.com - using Google Base.

What's the moral of the story? Use lots of attributes! The more helpful the attributes you use, the easier it is for people searching on Google to find your items.