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Everything You Need To Know About Google's Newest Algorithm Possum









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发表于 2023-3-6 17:11:31 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Curious about what's been happening to local search rankings lately? A columnist, Joy Hawkins, has a series of recent algorithm updates that SEOs call Possum.

For those of you wondering what Possum is, this is the name approved by a local search community for the latest algorithm update that happened on September 1, 2016.

Phil Rozek suggested the name, suggesting that it was a good fit because many employers thought the “Google My Business” listing was gone, but it wasn't. They've just been filtered out – they're playing with Possum.

What's the update like?

All the evidence seems to indicate this latest particular update only impacts 3-pack and  Local Finder  rankings (local search results or Google Maps results). There was discussion about other updates that came after, which also impacted organic search results.

Based on many ranking reports that have been analyzed, this is a major Indonesia Mobile Number List update for local search since Pigeon in 2014. One of the most important things that has been updated is the Google filter that is applied to local search results.


1. Businesses that fall outside of the physical city limits saw a huge spike in ranking.

Earlier this year, Hawkins wrote about a problem to be faced in Local SEO, where if a business falls just outside the city limits, they have a serious ranking problem for many keywords that include that city name. These businesses often don't fall into a city "technically", according to Google Maps. Following this update, many similar businesses have seen a sizeable increase in their local rankings.

In Sarasota there is a business that wants their ranking to go up with the keyword "home inspector Sarasota". They fall outside the physical boundaries of Sarasota and are technically located in  a census-designated place (CDP)  called Gulf Gate Estates. As with most other cases, their mailing address is in Sarasota.

As of August 6, they were ranked 31st for “home inspector Sarasota”, and it can be deduced that rankings for such a keyword could be lost without an address within the physical city limits. Hawkins has a lot of clients in this scenario and have seen even after years of doing the right thing, their local rankings just don't move for those type of keywords.

After the update, their ranking "jumped" to 10th place (yes, up 21 positions). We see the exact same pattern for all the other businesses that also fall into this category.

2. Google is now filtering based on address and affiliation.

Previously, we would often see a local filter applied to local search results where the profile was filtered for phone numbers or similar domains.

For example, you could have a chiropractor's office that has three separate listings for individual practitioners and one for the practice itself. These separate profiles will link to the same site and use the same phone number. Usually, only one or two of these will appear in local search results, and the others will be filtered out.

This makes sense, as Google regularly filters out the same content organically, and showing their users multiple results from the same company is not in the best interest of their users. When you are looking for a new dentist, do you want to see the same office listed many times?

Since this update, we're seeing a lot of businesses being filtered because the address of that business has become the same as another listing in the same category (same business type).

Please note, that this screening is not the same as a penalty. Google doesn't delist them or prevent them from ranking for all of them at all. Instead, it works like an organic filter,  where Google selects the "best" and most relevant listings and filters out others of a similar nature.

3. The physical location of the searcher is more important than it was before.

A company reached out to Hawkins for a consultation, concerned about this algorithm update. They are aware that a large number of their locations are not in the top three rankings. When he looked at it, this had changed since they searched their headquarters in Alabama, they saw something very different from users in Texas, where one of their businesses is located.

The business is in Richland Hills, Texas, and the farther you are from the city when searching, the more you zoom out  on the map, and the further down you rank in the search results. they see the business as ranking seventh on the list for a keyword (services + city) in Alabama, while users in Richland Hills, Texas, will see it first.

It seems that since this update was made, it has become more important than anything else to make sure the searcher's location is set to the correct city when tracking desired rankings. One tool  that allows you to do that is Bright Local.

4. Search results vary more based on slight variations of the keyword searched.

Hawkins sees tons of reports from top-3 positions for various keywords.


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