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Pinterest Adds Refinements to Recipe Search Engine. Paleo, Anyone?




Somewhere deep in the Pinterest office complex is a whiteboard with a detailed plan to steal image search away from Google and Bing. It began with the concept of Rich Pins. These are special pins that carry with them extra information particular to that category. Article pins show the author name. Movie pins show ratings, cast lists and links to reviews. Product pins show prices and places to buy the item. Recipe pins show ingredients and cooking times.

Then, earlier this month, we learned that Pinterest acquired VisualGraph, a company that specializes in image recognition and visual search.

Today, Pinterest announced refinement options for recipe search:

Recipe search

When you type a food-related word into the Pinterest search engine (I typed cupcakes), you get an additional search box full of options. Do you want to see All recipes, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free, Paleo or Indulge Me. I can only assume that Indulge Me will lead me to bacon topped, double chocolate truffle cupcakes with all butter icing.

Okay, just noticed the cupcake with the M&M’s spilling out of it. That one has to be on the “Indulge Me” list.

As with all things Pinterest, the effectiveness of the search engine is dependent on how well pinners tag their pins. When I searched Chicken and Rice, then clicked “Vegetarian” I got chicken recipes with a lot of veggies. I’m not a Vegetarian but I don’t think that qualifies.

If you’re in the foodie biz, spend the extra time to get the tags right. It will put you ahead of the game. This is a great search tool and even with its flaws I prefer it to randomly searching Google for ideas. I was asked to bring a dish to a tea party this weekend and believe it or not I typed tea and food into Pinterest and found just what I needed.

Yes, this is the start of something big.

Shake, Rattle, and Stop the Roll

According to Mashable, Pinterest is also testing GIF uploads. My first reaction was to slap my hands over my eyes and scream. I hate those things. They make me dizzy. But then I read on and saw that movement will be optional. People who can see GIFs say they have a play button so you can start and stop the action. Thanks heavens. Can you image a whole Pintest page full of gyrating, fluctuating, undulating images. Yikes. Someone pass the Dramaine.

How’s Pinterest working for you? Is it an important part of your marketing plan or just another check-mark on your social media To Do list.