Based on dozens of ranking report’s analysis, the community of SEO experts announced another massive Google algorithm update on 1st September of 2016. One of the industry experts, Phil Rozek, gave it the name “Google POSSUM update”.
So below we are going to briefly discuss what the Google possum update is.
Actually, a massive change had been noticed on September first, i.e. the variation in the ranking of Google 3 pack and local finder results (AKA the local results or Google map results).
What the Google Possum update was in fact
After the update, industry experts noticed that there is a massive change in Google local business ranking.
According to joy Hawkins (a lead name in SEO industry’s experts),
“Google’s aim with this update was to diversify the local result and remove the duplicate and spammy businesses listing from Google’s local pack result.”
With the change in the algorithm, now Google uses a proximity test to diversify their local search, to rank the quality business lists whether you are outside the city or in the heart of the city.
Here is the perfect example of “Direct inspections”; they extremely wanted to rank for the keyword “home inspector Sarasota” but they were based in outside the city so that time because of Google’s algorithm they couldn’t rank in the list of 10 for that keyword.
But after the possum update, their rank jumped directly 31 to 6. That is an amazing example of “Google possum update”.
Google start to filter local result on the basis of address
As we saw before, sometimes the SEPR (search engine page results) of local business contains some business with the same address. However, their website and contact information was different. So after this update, we will not see these types of spam again.
Indeed, Google updated their algorithm to list only legitimate businesses. They start to filter also on the basis of address.
It should be noted, though two businesses can use same address if their businesses are different.
Now we can determinately say that Google is now more sophisticated than before.
Now location of searcher’s also matter
It is simple to understand, let’s consider that you’re a business owner and there are several branches of your business and your head office is based in Texas. So if your one branch is based in Florida and also rank 1st for the keyword “web-development company in Florida”.
But after the possum update, if you search the same keyword from your head office i.e. Texas, then you found that your rank will down in local business page result.
Because of possum update, the local business search result page will show different pages for different searcher’s locations.
So if the searcher searches the keyword “web-development company in Florida” from Florida then he will found the same result as before.
It is highly sensitive term to change a few of keywords
Undoubtedly, that is another big effect of the Google’s possum update. So now if you’re going to search keywords with some time with small changes, then you will find the different pages for every single change.
For an instance, if someone Google for “attorney in San Diego” and “attorney in San Diego, California” then the both page result will be slightly or may be extremely different.
Local listing operates independently to the organic filter
As we’ve seen before the update, local lists didn’t contain any result that linked to an organic filtered site.
It also has been seen after this update that now the list isn’t affected by linking problem with organic filtered site.
After the update, it can be easily seems that lots of businesses rank high for competitive keywords, while they are linked to the pages that are organically filtered.