Recently, web trends analyst John Mueller said Google had ‘cleaned up’ their application logic, with the potential knock-on effect of structured data errors. However, there’s a lingering recipe plugins problem and although it began before his comments were made, it’s causing serious issues for those with recipe content.
Multiple WordPress recipe plugins are currently triggering manual actions, as confirmed by posts on the Google Webmaster Central Help forum by recipe website and content owners using these plugins. The plugins markup text automatically for recipe rich snippets, but webmasters should check their Google Search Console for manual actions relating to rich snippet spam. Some plugin authors have already resolved the problem and others are planning to do so, but the best advice for those using recipe plugins is to make sure they’re running the latest version. Genesis for one has overcome the problem in their latest version.
Recipe plugins manual actions are being triggered by the markup for reviews and ratings which takes place in the code, without making them visible to page visitors. A Google warning’s seen by those whose recipe plugins have reviews and ratings hidden from view to page visitors.
Recipe page owners can use Google’s structured data testing tool to flag up any problems, however, the best tactic’s to remove reviews and ratings invisible to page visitors. By doing so, rich snippet information linked to manual actions will no longer be displayed in Google’s search results and probably in all markup too. At the moment, this doesn’t mean a site’s removed from search results, but it does mean rich snippets won’t be visible. With the problem solved, Webmasters can send their reconsideration request to Google. The safest strategy for owners of recipe content is to stick to Google guidelines to avoid losing their markup.
The plugins affected are:
There’s no indication of a fix yet, but problem with the ratings and reviews can be overcome by disabling the settings for review functionality.
The author of this plugin’s issued a new version, 2.7.1 which seems to have resolved the problem.
Although now discontinued, it’s best to disable ratings and reviews by going to ‘other options’ and choosing ‘don’t show rating label’.
This plugin’s currently experiencing problems with ratings and reviews as well as markup and should be fixed within a few weeks.