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Inbound Marketing Blog

How Google’s Possum Update Affects Your Ranking

How Google’s Possum Update Affects Your Ranking

By Jordan Staugler October 28 2016 SEO

Google has made quite a few updates to the search algorithms in the last few months. Do you know how they could positively or negatively affect your website?The big change, dubbed the “Possum Update”, focuses on Google’s local ranking filter. Realize this update doesn’t penalize your site’s pages but could filter some listings that may have previously showed up. According to an article written by link.assistant.com, there are 4 ways it could affect your website and listings.


4 Major Changes from “Possum” Update

1. More Importance on the Physical Location of the Searcher

Google is getting more confident in the data they collect about the physical location of searchers. As a result, more weight is being placed on the location of that person and directly affects search engine results.


2. Companies Outside of City Limits Get a Boost
Have you noticed a jump in some of your rankings with localized queries? It may be because companies outside of city limits are now treated as ones that are within city limits. In the past if your company was physically located outside the city limits, it was hard to compete with those businesses that were more centrally located.

So, if your business is located just outside of Houston city limits and you’re targeting a Houston audience, celebrate, dance, throw a party, whatever it is that you do, go for it because you’re listing is now considered along with everyone else located within the city.


3. Sharing the Same Address with Others Have a Negative Impact

Do you share an address with a similar business? No...Then don’t worry about it and proceed to #4. If you do share an address with a similar service provider, there are a few things you can do to help.

  • Be sure your listing information is as unique and accurate as possible
  • Research local resources and directories and add your company if possible
  • Update your business descriptions on all listings
  • Determine a strategy to increase customer’s reviews on Google
  • Add high-quality images and videos to your listings


4. Local Results May Differ on Long-Tailed Queries

This is where long-tailed keywords, especially ones that include localized queries come into play. If you don’t have a keyword report or know what I’m even talking about, you’re reading the right blog. Either read this blog (The Ever Changing Relationship Between SEO and Keywords) or email me (Jordan Staugler) to talk more about keyword reports.

So if a user searches a long-tailed keyord like “assisted living columbus” and then searches “assisted living in columbus, ohio” search engine result may vary.



So, as Director of Marketing, what do you need to do? Look where you rank now for localized long-tail keywords. If you find your company and your position hasn’t changed, you don’t need to do much. If you don’t see yourself or notice a drop, just try localizing your content and listing more.

The Google algo is getting smarter and smarter everyday so it’s crucial that your company stays on top of these changes and has an understanding of its impact.

Along with this “Possum Update”, Google just confirmed in a recent blog that they’ve begun a roll-out of the Penguin 4.0 real-time algorithm. Read Google’s blog about it here!

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About the Author

Jordan Staugler

Jordan spices up our mix with his love for analytics. He is a social media expert and can strategize campaigns to increase your ROI. He came to our company bringing his film and magazine background he gained from working in the Cincinnati market. He spends his free time on Twitter or consulting his pug, Bailey!