Google Possum Update
In September of this year, Google released what may have been its biggest algorithm update since the Pigeon update back in 2014. Here are a few examples of how your site may have weathered the Google possum pursuit. (And yes, the American possums spell their name -opossum.) Most, but not all, of the changes affect the Google Maps (Local) listings.
- Businesses with multiple locations may now see their satellite offices filtered from the Google maps listings. The filtration isn’t a penalty, but is actually Google’s effort to provide more relevant listings based on the location of the user.
- Businesses outside of the city limits may actually benefit from Possum. Many of the businesses that weren’t within the physical borders of the city have seen huge increases.
- The user’s location is more important than before in providing search results that are nearer to their search location.
- Keyword variations of the searcher now appear to produce different results within the Google 3-pack map listings. EX: website design OH would produce different results than Ohio website design.
- Organic and local rankings appear to be functioning independently of each other. In the past, if you didn’t rank organically, you typically didn’t appear in Google local (map) listings. Some sites are now seeing better local rankings for phrases that are filtered out in the organic searches.
While this update may not affect everyone it is an interesting move nonetheless on Google’s part. It’s a bit early to know if all of these changes will stick. Often times we’ll see Local listing results that revert within days of the updates. We will keep an eye on it and see how it affects local listings in the future. We will make sure and keep you all posted so don’t forget to check back in routinely!