The Google Rich Snippets bug that plagued recipe writers earlier this year seems to be back. We’re seeing a growing number of reports indicating that recipe photos are disappearing from Google Search results. When the missing photos do reappear, they are often the wrong photos.
Recipes struck by Google Rich Snippets bug
Searchenginejournal spotted the reports about the Google Rich Snippets bug. Food writer, blogger and YouTuber Lisa Bryan was one of those to comment on it via Twitter:
It seems there’s another recipe rich snippet bug. Images aren’t showing in results (on numerous of my recipes). And I don’t show in the recipe carousel (on a top ranked result) no matter how many times you click “show more.” @dannysullivan @JohnMu @googlewmc @rustybrick pic.twitter.com/8ghzs3n3Nm
— Lisa Bryan (@Downshiftology) October 20, 2019
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Bryan also said on Twitter that she requested re-indexing of her recipes through Google, and the images came back within 20 minutes, so she re-indexed dozens of her most popular posts. However, that turned out to be only a temporary fix because after about two days, the images were gone again.
According to Searchenginejournal, the Google Rich Snippets bug originally surfaced in the spring. At that time, Google declared it a “bug,” and the problem did seem to go away. However, something has happened recently which has caused the bug to return.
Unfortunately, it took months for the issue to be corrected the first time, as SEroundtable reports that it was fixed in July after being reported in April. The recent reoccurrence of the problem seems to have started on or around Oct. 15.
Google is accepting examples of the issue
Earlier this year, Google employee Danny Sullivan started a thread about the bug on the company’s forums here. Although the thread was started in April when it first appeared, there are some posts from recipe writers this month, so if your site is affected, you may want to respond to that thread with examples for Google to check out.
At this point, the Google Rich Snippets bug seems to be affecting only recipe sites, but that doesn’t mean it won’t spread to other kinds of websites. The issue seems to be especially impacting recipe sites because they include photos in their Snippets. After all, most people “eat” with their eyes before they ever taste a particular dish.