Today I’m going to break down the search engine results page for “Pumpkin Spice Latte.”
Pumpkin spice everything is officially back.
Last week, on opening day at Starbucks, I picked up a PSL (pumpkin spiced latte) for my wife and business partner, Rayanne. I tried the pumpkin cold brew. It was delicious.
A search for “pumpkin spice latte” provides a great lesson in how search engines work. Here’s the top of the page for that search query in Google:
The Search Engine Results Page
Every search engine results page is a unique experience.
Breaking down what you see for certain queries can help you understand how Google is trying to assist searchers.
With that understanding, you can get better at helping your audience, and when done properly, that will get your organization meaningful results.
The PSL query shows a lot of diversity in results. And that makes sense. There are over 7,000 variations of the way people search for pumpkin spice latte. Google understands the context and they know they need to get you to the right PSL result fast.
They do that with these 9 different options on the results page:
Starbucks sits on top for this keyword and rightly so. A little more light Googling and you’ll find that someone from Starbucks invented the drink, so it makes sense that the name would be almost synonymous with Starbucks.
Next on the page is the “People also ask” features. These are near the top because a search for “pumpkin spice latte” is a little too vague for Google to know what exactly the searcher may need. Refinement = clarity.
Up next are recipes. Google doesn’t just show regular results here but defines a section of the page as recipes. Understandable, since half the internet is a recipe and people love doing DIY at-home drinks.
At the top right (not the most common placement for ads) you’ll see several different product types available and related to PSL.
Simply the description and a brief history of the drink. For those looking for the textbook definition.
Top Stories are recent news articles about PSL from big media companies like Fast Company and People.com
Regular links you are used to seeing, but mostly just more recipes.
Just more recently shared videos announcing that PSL is back. Depending on the time of year you search, you’ll likely see different results here. Time and proximity are almost always factors to search results.
Last on the page are related searches, because Google wants to help you find what you’re looking for in relation to PSL, they offer a whole bunch of related searches people make at the bottom of the page. If one of the previous 8 options didn’t help you get what you need from a “pumpkin spiced latte” search, then these should help.
That’s it. Now, go do your own SERP (search engine results page) analysis of keywords you want to rank for. Take what you’ve learned and optimize your website content accordingly.
Here’s an image of the PSL keyword trend:
Need help with this stuff? I’m always just an in-person or virtual meeting over PSL away!