Amanda Hesser measures Google's influence:
The entity with the greatest influence on what Americans cook is not Costco or Trader Joe’s. It’s not the Food Network or The New York Times. It’s Google. Every month about a billion of its searches are for recipes. The dishes that its search engine turns up, particularly those on the first page of results, have a huge impact on what Americans cook. Which is why, with a recent change in its recipe search, Google has, in effect, taken sides in the food war. Unfortunately, it's taken the wrong one.
Nicholas Carr seconds Hesser's complaints:
If you're publishing recipes online and you want them to rank highly in Google's recipe results, it's no longer enough simply to publish really good dishes and get lots of people to link to them. Now, you have to be adept at (or hire someone who's adept at) SEO in order to code your pages in ways suited to Google's increasingly complex algorithm. … Amateurs and small-timers, like Grandma and Meathead, have little chance to compete with the big corporate sites, which can afford to spend big bucks on SEO. Once antagonists, Google and the SEO industry have developed a tightly symbiotic relationship that seems to be mutually beneficial. The folks who lose out are the little guys.