Role of Possum update in local SEO – Facts you need to know

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The Possum update has delivered a big impact on Google local SEO. It has made a big impact on your local businesses. Many local businesses were impacted because of this algorithm shake-up. A possum update was brought in to eliminate wrongly ranking offices and promote other legit businesses. Let’s see the facts you need to know about the role of Possum update in local SEO.  

 Starting with giving you a background, around September 2016, Google rode out an algorithm update called Possum. What used to happen was if small businesses did not have a physical address, they would be signing up for virtual spaces or common suites to gain an address. It turned out that multiple local businesses were sharing the same address. This provided them with a physical presence, and in turn, helped them rank locally in the google searches because they had that local presence. This algorithm basically found all the local businesses sharing the same location, and essentially penalize them.

So, in a nutshell, Google’s smart. Many local businesses started dropping out of the local SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) around early September in 2016. As a fact, Google’s Possum algorithm update changed 64 percent of local SERPs. This update proved that the physical location of your business is much more important for a good SEO ranking. Almost all digital marketing companies have started focusing on putting a different and reallocation.

Why Possum

 The Possum update was definitely the biggest in filtering out search results after Penguin, which was released in the summer of 2013. This update was merely brought in to filter out repetitive addresses. This also helps bring a variety of local trades that appear in your search result. For example, the businesses falling out of the local boundaries but having a mailing address within those borders, had a hard time ranking in these google searches. Digital marketing agencies are now striving to achieve a better ranking by carefully differentiating the address pattern.

If your business lies inside the city limits, it is your time to shine. This algorithm shows varied results from even outside the boundary. But if you are inside the city, your digital marketing company should pay attention to this. If such is the case, you need to have a different location for your business to rank better locally. Else, if you work on a contracting basis or do small jobs outside the city barriers, but actually serve the people of that city, you can have a better ranking.

The SEO search results have witnessed this change because of more filtering by address. Google’s Possum will give more authority to the offices having a smaller number of listing as compared to the one having multiple listings. Digital marketing agencies must get rid of the listings that don’t matter. The need to keep their focus on the primary listing. You can mention the complimentary listings in your descriptions and your websites, but avoid creating different ones. 

The local SEO is now more and more driven to the user. The keywords and the way of typing it is significantly impacting the search results. To determine what will appear in the three-pack listing, google prevents spam pages and shows varied local searches. Hence, digital marketing agencies need to make sure that the pages and listings are optimised. It is essential to address the user and reflect on your website, how they need your service. Although not much could be done as the location of user keeps on changing ad the results keep on changing based on what’s closer to the user. To tackle this as much as possible you should have optimised pages.

As a user, you will experience better search results and more options. You will not have to face the same addresses and information about the same shop for different services again and again. This will also help you find and explore more services that lie near you. As a business owner lying outside the city, you will get more attention and search results will display your services. But if you are a local business owner having a rented or owned place in a complex, or else a building having other offices, you will be at a disadvantage. 

A downside of this could be that legitimate small start-ups or companies which rent their place in a sharing complex would be filtered out. For instance, if you don’t have a separate working office and work with five other businesses, only one of them would show up in the searches. These trades could be of similar or different domains, but having the same address as other will give you a disadvantage. Although this is a controversial issue, it is for the betterment of the user experience. This will also unveil the misleading services and provide better options.

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