Each of the search sites is making it easier to browse through recipes. Blekko's big pitch is that they involve human curation. Now that curation has become more powerful, with established recipe sharing site Foodily taking the role of editor-in-chief for recipe-related slashtags.
Blekko's Curation Network
The concept of slashtags lies at the heart of Blekko, and not just because it makes it easy to throw that snazzy tag line – "slashing out spam" – around. Slashtags let users specify what they want to search for (/liberal, /vegan, /movies, etc.), but they also allow Blekko users to organize the information of the web themselves by contributing to or even creating entirely new slashtags. Addionally, experts in categories related to the various slashtags take part by acting as editors-in-chief.
The recent Zorro update made slashtags even more prominent by automatically applying them to a huge number of searches, pitching the curated results as one of the few reliable ways to avoid spam. As part of building trust for the slashtags, Blekko has brought on various celebrities and well-respected groups to curate results. The most recent addition is Foodily.
Foodily has an established reputation in the recipe field, especially when it comes to social sharing for recipes; a major part of Foodily's core design is based on sharing content both within the Foodily network and on Facebook. In the official press release, Rich Skrenta, CEO of Blekko, stated, "Foodily’s trusted community of cooks and food lovers will be a tremendous resource to Blekko searchers."
The Rising Prominence of Recipe Searches
There's a movement in today's world to have search results provide the answers more directly. Ask for flight information, for example, and get the flight information on Google or Blekko or Bing directly – not on a separate site. Ironically, it's that very demand that's led Google to practices that are now under antitrust review.
Blekko, however, is small enough that it can organize the web as it sees fit. Recipe searching is just one part of that.
For Blekko, optimizing recipe data means providing curated results for a number of food-related categories. You can use slashtags to find very specific sorts of recipes, such as a gluten-free curry recipe via the "curry /gluten-free /recipes" search string.
Blekko's model is somewhat different for Google and Bing, both of which offer a recipe search and advanced filtering options that cover specifications such as calories, time required to cook the meal, ingredients, and the occasion the meal is for.
What's better? An automated system that takes advantage of markups to give in-depth filters, or a trusted name providing human curation? Blekko's, at least, is betting on the second.
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