Possum: Google’s Latest Local Search Algorithm Update

Google just released Possum, their latest local search algorithm update. What does this mean for you, as a business with a digital presence? We’ll break it down.


Possum’s Purpose: Expanding & Diversifying Local Search Results

This update seems to focus mostly on what Google deems the “Local Finder,” the main aims being to 1) diversify local results, and 2) prevent spam from ranking in the search results. Possum is the largest update for “Local” since 2014!

Possum’s biggest role is to expand the search results outside of a city’s boundaries. Traditionally, the local search algorithm deals specifically with search criteria to produce local search results. However, as many businesses may be located just outside of an area’s physical boundaries (for example, many manufacturing, industrial and tech corridors lie outside of a city’s lines due to mandates or restrictions), the update seeks to allow their entry into the search results as well.

Potential for Improved Local Search Rankings

Until now, companies have somewhat missed out on local rankings due to the configuration of Google’s local search parameters. These parameters dictated that only businesses located exclusively within a city’s limits would show up in the search results for someone who was physically located in that area. The Possum update allows for search results based on the business’s address and affiliation to that search request.

Shared Addresses, Filtered Results and Organic Content

Keep in mind that if several companies share the same address (for example, offices located in a large office building or business park), the one that ranks higher organically will show up first in the search results, and so on by relevance after that. You can view all “filtered” results on the Google Map by zooming in and showing the “filtered” responses.

Remember, just because a company gets “filtered” doesn’t mean it received a penalty. Being “filtered” simply means the business may share an address with another business, though it may not share the same delivery of quality organic content relevant to the search.

Possum indicates that Google is looking to not only expand the local search results beyond a city’s physical limits, but at the same time encourage the creation of high-quality organic content that relates to searches.

Unleaded is committed to bringing you the latest news in digital marketing, SEO and web development. To learn more about the Possum update and what it could mean for your business, call us today at 720-221-7126.