Google’s Possum Update: What You Need to Know


On the 1st of this month, there was a massive update in Google’s algorithm. The impact was most evident in local search listings and Google Map results. There was no official moniker for this update, allowing SEO enthusiasts to coin their own term! The name ‘possum’ cropped up because many thought that their listings on Google’s My Business were gone when it was actually just filtered away. The name comes from the suggestion of ‘playing possum’.

Some of the highlights of this update are:

  • Businesses that fall outside the perimeters of the city listed for local searches got a huge boost in the rankings. Earlier, before this ‘possum’ update that is, business addresses just outside the city limits were not listed at the top of the heap, despite their superior SEO status. Now, these businesses that do not strictly fall under the geographical limits of the city have a better shot at the top local ranks.
  • The listings on local searches are being filtered according to the enlisted addresses and affiliations. So, a business with three different websites with separate content but same address may find only 1 or 2 of their websites listed on local searches. Prior to the update, this filtering was done through domain name or phone number.
  • Local search results are now attuned to the geographic location of the searcher. For example, if you search for something in X city from Y town, you will get different results compared to someone searching from Z town. These results are attuned to the location of the searcher.
  • Despite minor variations of the searched keywords, results are more disparate than it was before the September 1 update. A minuscule change in the keyword use alters the results to a great degree.

Hope these updates will help you tackle local SEO better!

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