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

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 the first is Pigeon which happened in 2014.

The main point of the 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 the official city limits they have a hard time ranking for any keywords that include that city name. Google Maps technically doesn’t consider these businesses into a city. Companies in a Census-Designated Place (CDP) are also experiencing difficulty in obtaining high SERP in local organic search results. Whereas businesses that 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 the 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 a 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 filtering 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 for anything related to that business from 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 of relatively lower positions.    

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 a Slight Variation in the Searched Keyword, Results will Vary More

Even similar keywords just with the addition of state abbreviations 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 linked to pages that are filtered organically. Not to mention, Google is smart enough to realize two different sites.

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

Gangadhar Kulkarni

Gangadhar Kulkarni is an internet marketing expert and consultant having extensive experience in digital marketing. He is also the founder of Seogdk and Director at DigiTechMantra Solutions, a one-stop shop for all that your website needs. It provides you cost-effective and efficient content writing and digital marketing services.

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