How Many Licks to the Center of a Tootsie Pop

Do you remember the old Tootsie Pop commercial that posed the question, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” For many of us, this question has been a source of curiosity for years. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question, and how it relates to the world of search engine optimization (SEO).

The Search for the Answer

Before we dive into the SEO implications of the Tootsie Pop question, let’s first explore the answer itself. In 2015, a group of engineering students from Purdue University set out to answer the age-old question. They created a machine that mimicked the human tongue and tested how many licks it took to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop.

Their findings? It took an average of 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. However, their study had some limitations, as they only tested with one type of Tootsie Pop and one type of licking machine. So, the answer could vary depending on the size and shape of the candy, as well as the technique of the licker.

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The SEO Connection

Now, you may be wondering, what does this have to do with SEO? Well, the Tootsie Pop question is a prime example of a long-tail keyword. Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that people use when they are searching for something online. They are often less competitive than shorter, more generic keywords, making them easier to rank for in search results.

In the case of the Tootsie Pop question, people may search for the exact phrase “how many licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop” when they are curious about the answer. By incorporating this long-tail keyword into your content, you can increase the likelihood of your page appearing in search results when someone types in that exact phrase.

How to Optimize for Long-Tail Keywords

So, how can you optimize your content for long-tail keywords like “how many licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop”? Here are some tips:

1. Do your research.

Use a keyword research tool, such as Google Keyword Planner, to find relevant long-tail keywords that people are searching for. Look for keywords that have low competition but a decent amount of monthly search volume.

2. Use the long-tail keyword in your content.

Incorporate the long-tail keyword into your content naturally, but don’t overdo it. Use variations of the keyword throughout your content to make it more diverse and avoid keyword stuffing.

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3. Create high-quality, informative content.

Creating high-quality, informative content that answers people’s questions is the best way to optimize for long-tail keywords. If your content provides value to your audience, they are more likely to engage with it and share it, which can lead to more traffic and higher search rankings.


In conclusion, the Tootsie Pop question may seem like a trivial topic, but it actually has some interesting SEO implications. By incorporating long-tail keywords into your content, you can increase the likelihood of your page appearing in search results and driving more traffic to your site. So, next time you’re creating content, think about the Tootsie Pop question and how it can help you optimize for long-tail keywords. And if you’re still curious about the answer, grab a Tootsie Pop and start licking! Who knows, you might just beat the Purdue engineering students’ record of 364 licks.