Google Launches New Menu Feature
Google launched a new feature recently that displays full restaurant menus right on the search result pages. The project was initially launched as an experiment, but the new change has been made live and accessible to users, though only available in the US so far.
The feature comes up at the top of search results in a OneBox-style answer, much like when Google displays the weather in search results. It pops up when the query includes the restaurant’s name and the word ‘menu’. The Google menu feature allows you to browse different sections and categories of the menu such as breakfast, lunch, or dessert. So far from what we’ve seen this doesn’t include drink menus for bars, but this could be a coming addition.
A statement released by Google explained that their data is coming from a 3rd party partner, which makes it impossible to directly add individual or remove restaurants.
Is Google’s new menu feature hurting or helping my restaurant’s SEO?
This feature was designed for the consumer. Most people want to see a menu before they commit to visiting a restaurant, so putting the information up front is great. But, by providing the data right in the search results, users no longer have to visit a restaurant’s website, killing traffic.
In addition, not all restaurants have menu data provided, and are left out because they are not allowed to submit their menu to Google directly. And because restaurants are not in control of the data displayed, information may also be missing, outdated or incorrect. This is also detrimental if a restaurant changes or updates their menu at a big or a small scale. As of now, restaurants do not have the choice to opt out of this new feature either.
We are awaiting new updates and options for this feature that allow for more control for businesses, but it could take some time or never happen at all. As time has shown, Google’s updates are all about the user, not website owners. Check back for more updates.