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Last updated: December 7, 2022
If you’re a food blogger, you will most likely be familiar with the jump-to-recipe button. And you may also know that this little button is often the cause of heated debates.
These debates revolve around SEO and advertising revenue. Some say you should never use that button, as it negatively impacts ad revenue. Others say that there are SEO benefits in having that button at the top of your recipe articles.
I am not a food blogger and therefore I’ve always tried to stay out of these discussions. But being the SEO nerd that I am, I couldn’t resist diving a little deeper into this. So, in this article, I am sharing my thoughts on the jump (and print) recipe buttons and how they relate to SEO and ad revenue.
Please note that this article was first published in 2019, at a time when the jump-to-recipe button was very much a hot topic. Things have evolved enormously since then, and today, in the year 2022, using the jump-to-recipe button in food blogs is standard practice. Good for readers, good for SEO, everybody wins.
Let’s start with a few examples of Jump to Recipe buttons on various food blogs:
Okay, so you may be wondering, why on earth does that innocent little button (or a simple link, really) cause so much stir? Good question.
Most food blogs out there run ads on their sites to make money. A lot of these food bloggers use ad managers such as Mediavine and AdThrive to place ads on their sites. There is some good money to be made with display advertising, as you can read in my comprehensive Mediavine review.
The “issue” with jump-to-recipe is that it allows the reader to skip most of the content and jump straight to – you guessed it – the recipe. In other words, ads in the middle section of the article won’t be displayed or seen, which negatively impacts ad revenue.
It’s no surprise that ad managers typically advise against using a jump-to-recipe button for that reason. But then others say that having jump and print recipe buttons has SEO and user experience benefits.
In the private Mediavine Publishers Facebook group, that I am a member of, the ones saying that a jump-to-recipe button is a good thing typically do not get a lot of support.
And when they mention that there is an SEO benefit in having that button, they typically get slammed. Okay, “slammed” is a big word, but trust me when I say that these pro-button people are a very tiny and quiet minority.
Update December 2019:
After years of opposition, Mediavine have finally decided to include a Jump to Recipe feature in their Create WordPress plugin, finally recognizing the demand for, and user experience benefits of, this button. Well done!
Semrush and Casey Markee
Casey Markee is an SEO consultant who provides services such as site and content audits, with a lot of his clients being food bloggers. He has a fairly good reputation in the SEO industry and he seems to know his stuff.
Now, Casey, along with other SEO professionals, has always been an outspoken supporter of the jump-to-recipe button. He claims this button has SEO benefits and always recommends his food blogging clients include that button in their recipe articles.
Casey did an interview with Semrush a while back in which he mentioned the jump-to-recipe and print-recipe buttons, and why he recommends food bloggers to use them.
In that same interview, he had a bit of a dig at ad companies, because ad companies obviously advise against using that button. After all, it negatively impacts ad revenue. Casey believes that’s wrong because user experience is more important in the long term.
That very same interview has led to several heated discussions in the Mediavine Facebook group, and most people are simply not taking it.
Think about it. That group is heavily populated with food bloggers and is managed by an ad manager (Mediavine) that strongly advises against using the jump-to-recipe button. So it’s not a surprise that many bloggers in that group are going to hate on Casey in these discussions.
I find that quite frustrating because a lot of these food bloggers don’t have a deep understanding of SEO. They’re good at creating recipes with beautiful photos, and they’re good at playing the Pinterest game. And some of these blogs are actually very successful, get tons of traffic, and are earning lots of money.
But SEO usually is not their expertise. So they often don’t really understand that there is in fact a relationship between a jump-to-recipe button and SEO.
How? Let me explain.
Jump-to-Recipe Has SEO Benefits
No, you won’t see a jump in rankings when you add a jump-to-recipe button to your recipe articles; not going to happen. Similarly, you won’t see a drop in rankings when you take that button out either.
But does that button improve user experience, even just a tiny little bit? Yes, absolutely. And is user experience important in regards to SEO? Yes, it’s extremely important.
That button is one of so many aspects of a website that can influence user experience positively, even if it’s just a tiny little bit. And a better user experience leads to longer time-on-page, less “pogo-sticking”, lower bounce rate, etc. It’s those signals that can ultimately have a positive impact on your organic search rankings.
So, no, Google is absolutely not going to look for a jump-to-recipe button in an article and move it up in the rankings if it can find one. It’s not at all a ranking factor as such.
But that’s not the point…
What matters, is user experience, and that little jump-to-recipe button can improve overall user experience. Just like so many other things can lead to an improved user experience.
I’ll be honest here though. I can totally understand why food bloggers instinctively would take that button out, for the sake of increasing ad revenue. But if we take ad revenue out of the equation, I think we can all agree that the jump-to-recipe and print-recipe buttons in recipe articles are good user experience elements.
And it’s not just those buttons. There are many other things to consider on a food blog to improve the overall user experience so that readers stay on websites longer, bounce rate improves, more readers sign up for newsletters, etc.
Things like no clutter, no annoying popups, good page speed, no fluff content, bigger font, shorter paragraphs, all those good things. This will lead to positive SEO signals and improve your organic search result rankings in the long term.
Are Online Recipes a Nuisance?
Check out this tweet by Chelsea Peretti, which sparked a huge debate in the Mediavine Facebook group:
She’s a comedian and, obviously, she’s just being cynical here. But she’s also making a valid point. And it’s a bit of a sensitive point. Some people in the group actually took this tweet very seriously and became quite defensive about it.
The reality is though, that a lot of food bloggers add tons of “unnecessary” content to their recipe articles. They typically do this for two reasons:
- They genuinely believe they need to write lots of words to “please” Google.
- They want to increase their ad revenue. The longer the content, the more ads will be displayed, and the higher the ad revenue.
In all fairness, some bloggers are actually very decent writers and the “extra” content they add can sometimes be very good, entertaining, and useful.
But if you do a bit of browsing on food blogs you will see that the struggle is actually real. Many food bloggers do add “fluff” content to their recipes with only one goal, and that is to increase their overall ad revenue.
A jump-to-recipe button is a good solution. Those who want to read your content will do so. Those who only want to read your recipe can jump straight to it.
And the better the user experience, the more Google will appreciate your website in the long term. A win-win situation.
It all comes down to finding the perfect balance between user experience, growing your blog, and maximizing ad revenue. It really isn’t all about the money. If anything, the better the overall user experience on your blog, the more money you will make in the long term.
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If you’re a food blogger, hopefully the above makes sense. There is indeed an SEO benefit in having that jump-to-recipe button in your recipe articles. A tiny benefit perhaps, but the correlation between the two most definitely exists.
But it’s important to understand why, so you can make an informed decision on whether or not you’re going to include it. There are always two sides to a story, and there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution.
Long story short, having a jump-to-recipe button on your food blog is a personal choice. User experience, SEO benefits, ad revenue; there are a lot of things to consider, and it’s a balancing act.