November 2, 2022
Google Possum algorithm update

New Google ‘Possum’ Algorithm Update Affects Local SEO

The new Google Possum algorithm update is impacting local SEO in profound ways as filters make changes to the organic search results page…

The local SEO community continues reporting various changes to the search engine results page after the Google Possum algorithm update first hit on September 1st. Applied filters are causing business owners to believe their Google My Business listings are gone but in reality, said listings are “playing opossum.”

All current evidence indicates changes applied only to the 3-pack and Local Finder rankings. It appears the update is targeting spam and is the largest local SEO update to hit since the release of Google Pigeon in 2014. Among the updates is the Google local results filter.

The Newly Dubbed Google Possum Algorithm Update is Affecting Local SEO on the SERP

One challenge to local SEO are businesses which are physically located outside official city limits. Companies in a census-designated place (CDP) experience difficulty ranking high in local organic search results. The so-called Google Possum algorithm update is causing higher rankings for businesses previously low in search results.

Google routinely filters out duplicate listings (i.e. small business listings with multiple locations and/or phone numbers) for better user experience. However, this particular update appears to filter out businesses with the same street addresses which are in the same category. As a result, if two personal injury attorneys are in the same office building but different suites, only one might appear in the results.

Recently, several SEO firms reported Google organic search results changes. Tracking tools also showed significant variations, including RankRanger, Accuranker, and Mozcast. But search giant Google downplayed the ranking changes, saying “nothing specific, sorry — we’re always working to improve things!”

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Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search, and similar news. History buff, movie, and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband.     

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