What Digital Marketers Need to Know about Google’s Possum Algorithm Update

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Google Possum Algorithm Update
The month of September didn’t start well for many business owners as ‘Possum’ is released. This recent Google Algorithm Update has affected local SEO on the SERP. This can be said to be the 2nd biggest local SEO update where first is Pigeon that happened in 2014.

The main point of Possum update was to diversify the local results for which they have filtered the Google results. Another purpose is to prevent the ranking of spam.

 Let’s see in brief, which filters Google has applied for local searches and how!  

·        Businesses that Fall Outside of the Physical City Limits Saw a Huge Increase in Ranking

In this case, if a business is physically located outside official city limits they have hard time ranking for any keywords that include that city name. Google Maps technically don’t consider these businesses into a city. Companies in a Census-Designated Place (CDP) are also experiencing difficulty to obtain high SERP in local organic search results. Whereas businesses which were previously low in search results are seeing higher rankings due to this Possum algorithm update.

·        Google is now Filtering Based on Address and Affiliation

With this recent Google update, businesses with the same street addresses which are in same category will be filtered. That means if two personal injury attorneys are in the same office building but different suites, only one might appear in the Google results.

It shows that Google has become little more sophisticated than just looking at the address you enter in Google My Business (GMB). Google is working much like the organic filter, which considers the best and most relevant pages while filters out too similar listings.

·         The Physical Location of the Searcher has become Quite Important than It was Earlier

If your business is in Texas and if you search anything related to that business from the Texas itself, you will get the results on top. Whereas if you search for the same keyword from some other place, for example Alabama then you will find results on relatively lower position.    

So, while tracking a ranking, setting a searcher location to the right city has become more important with this Possum update. There are various tools to do so and BrightLocal is one of them.

·        If There is Slight Variation in the Searched Keyword, Results will Vary More

Even the similar keywords just with the addition of state abbreviation will show a lot more fluctuation. Earlier, if you would have searched for “Los Angeles Chiropractor” or “Chiropractor Los Angeles” or “Chiropractor Los Angeles CA”, you would see the somewhat similar results. But the scenario has changed with the current update.

·        The Local Filter Seems to be Running more Independently from the Organic Filter

Since the update, many businesses have achieved a very high rank for competitive terms that are linking to pages that are filtered organically. Not to mention, Google is smart enough to realize two different sites.

So, how this Google’s Possum update has affected your business, positively or negatively? You can share it over here.

Author Bio
Gangadhar Kulkarni
Gangadhar Kulkarni is a Internet Marketing Professional having extensive experience in SEO and SMO. He is also founder of seogdk where he shares information about SEO, SMO, SEM, blogging and web technologies by way of articles. For more information catch him on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | G+ | Pinterest 



  1. This is another great quality boost for Google's algorithm. I see too many companies try to claim they provide services in areas they really don't serve or reside in.
    Great post.

    1. Hello Jen,

      Thanks for contributing your thoughts about Google Possum update....Hope to see you around here again....Have a nice day.....!!!


  2. Hi Gangadhar,

    Seems like big changes afoot for local businesses dependent on Google rank. I do use Google for this local purpose - especially here in New York City - but care not much about my own blog. Cyber based ;) But interesting updates to say the least. I like geography of searchers playing a bigger role. Increased relevance. Thanks much G.


    1. Welcome Ryan and thanks for exchanging informative thoughts about this topic.


  3. Hey Gangadhar,

    Though Google ranking has been removeed but still there is always a concern about the organic traffic. Bloggers are trying to get it hard enough to reach to the top.
    In the latest Google algorithm update, there are many changes for the businesses. Good to read more about it.